Saturday, March 23, 2019

Adventure 7/50 | Race Report : Washington DC St. Patrick's Recovery Run Half Marathon

As soon as we planned our trip to DC, I looked up local half marathons in the area in support of my 50 States project… and the timing wasn't working for Maryland or Delaware. However, we could run a half marathon in Washington DC. I hadn't been planning on running in DC – hey, 50 states is hard enough without adding in another race! -- but with no new states available, DC it was.

We didn't really know what to expect, but the St. Patrick's Recovery Run Half Marathon was an out and back along the towpath of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal – so I knew it would be flat! We took an Uber over to the starting area, picked up our handsome tech shirts (gender specific!) and our bibs, and then went up the stairs to the canal for the start. The race was in support of the Semper Fi Fund, which "provides immediate financial assistance and lifetime support to combat wounded, critically ill and catastrophically injured members of all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families." Representatives from the charity were there before the race and gave a little talk about how they "deliver the resources they need during recovery and transition back to their communities, working to ensure no one is left behind."

Thus inspired, we were given a quick course talk: "You're gonna run 6.55 miles this way, then turn around and run 6.55 miles back." Okay then!

The morning was very very cold, but the sun was shining and we were warm enough once we started moving. The canal had silted up quite a bit, and had cattails growing in it. But the towpath was nice and level, not muddy, and we trotted along with the rest of the runners – some 155 in all.

For much of the race, we ran along a strip of land between the Potomac River and the canal. It was pretty, quiet for most of the run, and the race was totally uneventful. I was feeling stiff an achy, and at the turnaround decided to pretty much walk it back in. As Wil pointed out, "If you're gonna keep doing these, you should probably start training again."

Yeah, I know. It's a big difference from when we ran halfs every other week!

Eventually we crossed the finish line to cheers from the race crew; gulped some ice cold Gatorade, nibbled on some chips, and then headed into Georgetown to wander around, get some lunch, and eventually get an Uber home.

Bishop's Events runs dozens of races in the DC area – and I was impressed with how organized they were and the quality of the shirts and medals. Also, they donate 25% of their profits back to the charity partner associated with each race – bravo, Bishop's Events!

Oh, and, yes ... that's "state 38" ... out of 51!