Nike puts on some great races, so you could imagine my excitement when I found out the inaugural Nike Women Half Marathon D.C. allowed men to run. And the whole race was to benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, the parent charity of Team in Training. I had to run it. There was a lotto for entrance, so a crew of my TNT friends and I applied as a team – and we got lucky. On April 28th, I woke up bright and early to run with thousands of women.
My team met up in our hotel lobby for a quick photo shoot before the start. We all wore shirts or bibs in honor of those affected by the tragedy at the Boston Marathon, and the women all wore matching pink sequin skirts. Lucky for teammate John and I, two extra skirts made their way into our hands and around our waists. It was the women’s half after all, so we felt it best to fit in.
I began with Elyse, Noa, Carolyn and John in the 9:00 corral (they wouldn’t let men any farther forward). We agreed to run the race for fun and not for time – which worked out well as the first few miles were PACKED. At least I got to take some fun photos.
And enjoy the sights! (check out the course map!)
Elyse and I lost the rest of the group at around the 10k mark, which was when the course began to open up. We found a nice groove and went with it, racing the last half and marking awesome negative splits in the process:
- 5k - 30:42 (pace - 9:53)
- 10k - 58:33 (5k - 27:51, pace - 8:58)
- 15k - 1:25:20 (5k - 26:47, pace - 8:37)
- 20k - 1:51:13 (5k - 25:53, pace - 8:20)
- final .7m - 5:14, pace - 7:29)
The effort was exhausting, but luckily we ran into Franco who was out on the course motivating and coaching TNT runners.
As we approached the finish line, I saw a familiar sparkly skirt. It was IronTeammate Michelle with our other teammate Alysen. Elyse and I sprinted up to them, where Aly informed me that Michelle was in a zone and close to getting a PR. She asked me to help. I kicked into drill sergeant mode, pushing and pacing. And as a group, we crossed the finish together. Michelle got her PR!
And after a few quick photos, we lined up to get our Tiffany necklaces from men in tuxedos. Fancy.
I went home, showered up, and put my Nike Women shirt and Tiffany necklace on with pride. And then headed out to the best part of the morning – brunch.
To get a greater sense of what the race was like, check out the great video Tom Kelly of the Tom Kelly Show put together: Tom’s video. And for any women considering their first half marathon, this is a great one to check out. Nike really does put on a great race and this one did not disappoint. Keep an eye on their Facebook page for info on next year’s race.
Oh, and Paul Mitchell was a sponsor of the race and was giving haircuts at the finish for a $15 donation to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. How could I not?
And of course, if you’d like to contribute to MY fundraising efforts with Team in Training for the LLS, please visit bensTNTpage.org.