Saturday, December 3, 2011

Hot Mess 15k

When I woke up yesterday morning, I thought the most trying part of my day would be waking up at 4:30am to meet up with Jenny to run the Hot Chocolate 15k.   

I was prepared for a chilly morning but I wasn't too worried about it since I knew I would warm up quickly once we started running. We arrived at Rosecroft Raceway around 6:15am and took a shuttle to National Harbor.  Luckily, our shuttle got us to National Harbor around 7:00am.  I was kind of glad that we had some time to relax before the race because there was some business that I had to attend to.  I should have been careful what I wished for because of "highway accidents" and course problems, the 15k was over an hour late starting.  One good thing was that there was a ton of port-o-potties and I didn't have to wait in line for a single second.  But that was the absolute best part of the race.

Once the race began, it didn't get any better.  There were twenty thousand runners and enough room to run about six across the entire race.  The first out and back portion of the run was actually on a highway that was not shut down all the way.  There were actually dump trucks right next to us.  I know they were being supportive but horns right in your ear and breathing in exhaust fumes is not my ideal running situation. 

The water stops during the race left something to be desired.  There was water in gatorade cups and gatorade in water cups.  At each stop, I had to wait for a cup to be filled for me (mental note:  bring hand held water bottle to future races).    Although I really appreciated all the port-o-potties before the race, I felt that there could have been more on the course.  My longest bathroom wait was on the course, boo.  Also, since the race took so long to start, the temperature warmed up quite a bit before we actually started so when I stopped to use the restroom, I also decided to take my long sleeve shirt off (mental note:  wear long layers over short layers). 

Once the out and back was done, we got to run down hill for a while.  At the bottom of the hill, we ran a loop through a construction site.  I suppose we could see a bit of the harbor but seriously?  It really felt that they were bs-ing the course and just trying to get some mileage tacked on wherever they could.   The most beautiful part of the course was possibly the most dangerous part.  We were on a small path near the harbor that was covered in crushed shells.  The path was no more than six feet across with a steep drop off to the water.  They didn't have any cones or anything near the edge.  After that lovely jaunt by the water, we ran through a corrugated tunnel.  I am weird and get motion sick by looking backwards in car so this tunnel really messed with me.  I had to look at the ground the entire time. 

The end of the race was up a hill.  Again, God bless the volunteers for doing the best they could, but there just weren't enough of them to help all the runners.  I had to open a case of water to get my own water bottle and I had to wait for five people ahead of me to get a cup of gatorade. 

The race was not a full 15k.  My Garmin clocked my run at 9.14 miles.  I guess I should have kept running up to the post-race party that was up the hill because I probably could have made up the last .16 miles. 

Thanks for the pic, Charlie!
The fondue was good.  The hot chocolate was good.  I truly did not want the hot chocolate because I felt like it was a little warm for it but I paid $65 dollars for it so I drank every drop.  They also gave out some squares of Ghirardelli chocolate.  Compared to the other issues of this race, this one is insignificant but what the heck was up with the flavors?

What happened to good ol' milk chocolate or caramel or peanut butter?

  In short, this was the worst race that I have done so far.  I loved running my first race with Jenny but we will have to sign up for another for sure!  Good news though....

I met my goal!  It could have been even better if there weren't a million people in the way!  Oh well.  I will stick to non-RAM races in the future.

What has been your worst race experience?

What is the best thing to have at a race?


  1. Baltimore Marathon in 2005. They ran out of water/gatorade at mile 19! I was sick (bad cold) and dehydrated. I walked most of it after that.

  2. That was just an awful race! I will never run a RAM race again!

    Great job on still meeting your goal despite the crowds!

  3. It sounds like this race was just awful. I have read a couple of bad reports about it. Sorry that it sucked but good job making your goal! That has to count for something, right?

  4. Great job on the race goal, even with the porta potty stop along the way! I'm impressed :)


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