Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Hooah! Race Review: Army Ten Miler

Race: Army Ten Miler
Third biggest ten miler in the country, approximately 35k registered runners.
Location: Washington, D.C.
Expo: Held at the D.C. Armory. I didn't attend the expo this yr. But last yr, the expo had Humvee's and helicopters parked outside. Security line to get in. Smooth process to pick up your packet and shirt. There was a selfie area, have to do a pic after you pick up your packet, right?! Running clothing/gear vendors, other popular race stands, a mini helicopter for the kids to take pics in, and I'm pretty sure you could also enlist at the expo.

Race day:

Parking: public transportation is encouraged, there is no parking in the Pentagon parking lots. The Metro station does have a stop at the Pentagon. There is some parking in nearby Crystal City (walking distance), some street parking and a parking garage. We were early and able to park in Crystal City.

Security: Once you arrive to the race, it is obvious that it's hosted by the Army. Soldiers in uniform with guns everywhere. The security line moved very efficiently, as well as the bag check area.

Hydration: water available once you get past security, I packed a sealed bottle just in case, wasn't needed. There is water and Gatorade  available on the course, about every 2 miles.

Restrooms, plenty of banks of portable toilets. 35k registered runners, and definitely enough toilets. lines were very manageable before the race.

Race start: DJ and M.C. getting the crowd pumped up. As race time approached, there was plenty of notice as each corral was about to kick off. Cannons booming as each corral started!

Course/map/elevation: The race starts and ends at the Pentagon. Several noteworthy monuments along the course. Arlington Cemetery, backside of Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument, Jefferson Memorial. Great views of the Potomac River as well. Elevation: most of the noteworthy elevation is going up and across the bridges, steady inclines, especially between mi 7-8. Spectator area's, plenty of areas for family, friends, and even soldiers to cheer you on. Great fan support for this race!

(photo cred: @ArmyTenMilerATM)
Finisher's area: after receiving water and your finisher's medal, you are handed a bag and funneled through a food tent. Bananas, muffins, cookie, fruit cup, bagel.

After the food tent, there's plenty of space to pause and reflect on your accomplishment, hydrate, and maybe have a snack.

There's also a huge finisher area with three double sided rows of tents/stands with plenty more free swag and snacks. ROTC, Army Reserve, National Guard, to name just a few of the stands. Each stand had swag and refreshments. Some of my extra swag (just from one stand!): draw string backpack, reusable drink bottle, hat, tech shirt, usb backup battery charger, phone grip, and a mini wireless speaker. All from the Army Reserve stand! Other stands has some snacks and swag as well, but I had more than enough.

Music: there was a stage mostly used for the awards ceremony, but there was also music in each isle of the area. Marching band/drum line: one of my favorite parts of the post race festivities!
The finishers area overall, definitely one of the best for a race of it's size.


Shirt: white long sleeve tech shirt. Front of the shirt has a bald eagle, the Army Ten Miler logo, date of the race. Army logo and "Army" written down one of the sleeves. The back of the shirt has their major sponsors listed, as well as, the 34th Annual Army Ten Miler and their hashtag #RunArmyRunStrong

Medal: a double sided medal coin. One side has the U.S. Capitol with the American flag as the background. "Run Army, Run Strong". Other side of the medal indicates that its the 34th yr of the race, the Army Ten Miler logo, date of the race, and "Run Army, Run Strong" at the top, and finisher at the bottom.
My race: I did this race last yr, and definitely left room for improvement. I didn't research the course or respected the weather and regretted it early. Had a 10 mi PR on my mind, but my PR is on a flat course with spring weather (Broad Street, which I basically try to do a 10k sprint as long as possible). Last yr was 97% humidity, and I learned the tough way that the course has some slight elevations throughout. Definitely not comparable courses, I went out hard and paid for it. Heading into race day this year, guess what? High humidity again! Only 90% though, lol... Before hearing the weather, I already had a plan. Plan was just to treat this as a "normal" 10 mi training run, contain myself, enjoy the experience, and if I have any gas left in the tank the last couple maybe Ill kick it up a notch, and the results should be an improvement from last yr. Hearing the weather, decided to stick with the plan, that's what I would do with a training run anyway. Hydrated plenty the day before. Stretched last night and this morning. Light hydration before getting to the race. Another bottle once in the race area, gel before the start. Starting to perspire before the race even starts. Going to be a fun one! Once the race started, sweating by the 1st mile. Started out slightly faster than intended, pulled back after the first mile. Goal was to pace 8:15 ish, fading to about 8:30. Held around 8:15 for a bit, but the humidity and slight elevation did get to me. Faded slightly earlier than planned, the stretch between 7-8 was a bit rough. No final push to bring my time down. lol...  Overall pace was 8:41, a 33 second pace improvement from last yr.  Satisfied with my results as I paced myself more efficiently/effectively than I did last year. Would love to give one another try with some decent weather.
Pace below, I am also curious as to what the complete standings where. 35k registered runners not sure how many completed, would love to know the percentiles. Will be sure to check it out on Athlinks when available!
Sites and socials:
Facebook: ArmyTenMiler
Twitter: @ArmyTenMilerATM 
Instagram: armytenmiler

If you have any questions, let me know!

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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