Sunday, October 8, 2017

Race Review: Army Ten Miler

Oct 8, 2017. Pentagon, Washington, DC. 

Hi Fellow Runners!

Hope everyone's training is going well! I recently did the Army Ten Miler, below is my review. 

Background as to why i signed up. My college roommate, "Soup", went on to the army after graduating college, after the army, he landed a government job and lives just outside of DC. This is his favorite race and has been trying to get me to check it out. He visited me earlier in the yr to do the Broad Street Run and was time for me to return the favor. 

Expo: Location, DC Armory. Public transportation to the Armory. As soon as you get there, it's obvious this is hosted by the Army. Humvee's, helicopters, soldiers everywhere. Have to go through security checkpoint to get into the expo. Line to get in to the expo wasn't that bad, but we heard it wrapped around the block earlier. Could use a few more entry ways with security to get in. Once in, its apparent the building doesn't have air conditioning, several industrial fans were going. Packet pickup was table per corral, moved with efficiency. Shirt pickup next, very efficient was well. After bib/shirt pickup, there's about 6 rows of vendors to check out. The usual vendors, shoes, clothing, fuel, etc. Every few stands there would be armed services stand, I'm pretty sure you could enlist during the expo. lol! There was a smaller humvee and helicopter in the expo building for kids to take pictures with, we did not. 
Swag: Long sleeve tech Tee. Instead of a finishers medal, they do a cool coin. Pretty unique, i dig it. Will just have to rig something to hang it with my other medals. 

Course Scenery: The race starts at the Pentagon. Pass by Arlington cemetery, the backside of the Lincoln memorial, Washington monument, Thomas Jefferson Memorial, and finishes back at the Pentagon. 

Elevation: My buddy Soup, said on more than one occasion that this course is almost as flat as Broad Street. Well, Soup is a liar! Just after the race starts, it goes down to Arlington. Don't get too excited, that decline doesn't last long! Each street or bridge does have a slight incline, one of the bridges may have a bit more. If the weather wasn't a factor, I could see elevation not being that bad, will have to try again next yr to re-confirm!

Parking: Public transportation is encouraged. There was limited parking at the expo. And no parking at the race. The nearest pay parking lot is probably at least a mile from the Pentagon. 

Aid Stations: There was Gatorade and plenty of water every two miles. I hear they ran out of Gatorade later on. The last water station was at mile 9, could of been a little bit closer to 8. There was plenty of medical staff on the course. Unfortunately, plenty of people needed it due to the unusually warm/humid weather for this time of year. They actually ended up shortening the course at the end and stopped timing it due to so many people needing medical attention.

Race Management: seven thousand people per corral, could have been a bit smaller. Things were tight for a few more miles than most races. Each corral had an assigned start time, and they started on time. Imagine that, the army being a stickler to time, ha! The aid and management may be seeing some post race controversy. Of course, safety is most important. They removed the time and shortened the course after a certain time mark, but didn't stop the race. Runners that had a later start time may feel penalized for being slow. They trained, but weren't given the opportunity to finish, and no announcement was made to them until after the fact. I agree safety is most important, but would hate to not know i was getting cut short until afterwards. 

Post race: plenty of water! Had at least two waters before making it to the first snack tent. They hand you a box of goodies at the first tent, pretzels, granola bars, fruit cup, trail mix, etc. And of course bananas. After the snack tent, there are two rows of tents from sponsors. Danishes, muffins, fruit, lemonade, coffee. Think i saw another tent with a grill going, but didn't stop to check it out.

Exhausted from the race, didn't even bother with a selfie as i shut down my running app. Later on, i did try taking one with the drumline, that didn't go well, but here it is below. Also posting a drumline video i took, first time attaching a video, we'll see how that works out. 

After the race and race festivities, my buddy Soup had arranged a meet up at a brewery with his racing team. Post race beers and food hit the spot!  This was also a great opportunity for me to speak with more experienced runners. Several members of his racing team have completed sub 3 hr full marathons. I didn't focus too much on the running aspect, more along the lines of their fueling and other tricks of the trade. 
I wasn't happy with my time, but no one was. Once it was obvious i wasn't going for a PR, I tried to refocus the marathon training aspect. Was still a rough day, questioning my full marathon signup. Hopefully I use this as a lesson learned. 

I will definitely sign up for this race at least one more time for revenge.  

What recent races have you done or are training for?

If you do any races, please remember to review them on ! Your opinions help other runners decide what races to run!  Follow me on BibRave: Joe G

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