If you’re a runner living in the DC area, you are very familiar with Potomac River Running stores.They offer a wide variety of shoes and apparel plus coaching services and a race series… Their full calendar is right here. They were voted one of the top 50 running stores in America and for good reason. I sign up for many of their races because they are local, always well organized, fun, and the proceeds generally go to a good cause. This last Sunday, April 29th, I decided to run the 3rd annual Rockstar 8k in Burke VA.
The night before was rough. All three of my little kids were sick and up at various times during the night, so I was working on only a few hours sleep (I am used to being woken up at least once a night but this was essentially a sleepless night) it’s what we Mom’s do – cuddle, comfort and wash sheets in the middle of the night and then wake up and run a race… it’s not a job for weaklings.
I arrived early to pick up my bib and race packet at the Burke PR store. There were no lines and plenty of parking, as it was in a strip mall. Normally, I can’t stand race t-shirts and usually opt not to take them, but look at this SWEET Nike dri-fit tech shirt. I was very happy and would do the race again just for the shirt. I have never said that before. Ever.
The starting line was just across the mall, so I drove over and parked (again plenty of easy access parking). The race coordinators were finishing the set-up, while I ate breakfast in the car and drank a ton of coffee to try and wake up.
Since I drank a few quarts of java, I was happy to be parked right next to the port-a-potties. Let’s talk potties for a moment, shall we? Although there were only 8 stalls, which did not present a problem until about 5 minutes before the race, but then again, isn’t that always the case at every race? These were the only perfectly clean port-a-potties I have ever seen in all my years racing. I was so impressed, I had to take a picture and Tweet it out to all of my followers – who were equally impressed. Take a look! Let me guess, you can’t take your eyes off of this? A site so rare I had to capture this moment in a photo.
It did not last long though… here is what was long: the line going into those puppies in the moments leading up to the race. I’ll spare you the after photos.
The race started right at 8am, a five mile out and back along Burke Center Pkwy. This course is quite hilly but I thought it was a very fair amount of ups vs. downs. However, if you’re not a fan of hills you may not like this course. I wanted to start out at about a 7 min. pace and, while I achieved it, I was not feeling it. I’m not sure if it was the coffee or the lack of sleep, but it felt more difficult than usual. The best part was seeing a wonderful lady named Jo at the finish line. She was encouraging runners to finish strong. Often times crowds can be distracting to me, but she acted like she knew me personally and, I have to say, I wanted to run faster for her. Thank you, Jo! Here she is on the left. On the right, another Rockstar finisher, Amanda Kemp making a super strong finish.
I crossed the finish line with a time of 36.39 @ 7:23 pace, 12th overall female and 3rd in my age group. Results HERE
After the race there was really good bagels, pastries, pretzel rolls, bananas and water. There was plenty of it, even as the last runner came in there was still some food left.
They also had a moon bounce for the kids and a band (no comment on the band). I appreciate having some post race activities. Unfortunately, I did not stick around for the awards ceremony because I needed to get back to cuddles, comfort and sheet washing. I came home and everyone was cranky but doing much better.
Anyway, if you live in DC check out the PR race series. You can like them right here on Facebook for the latest info. These races are expertly put together, plenty of amazing volunteers like Terry (in the picture to the right below). These races cannot go on without the generosity of people like her.