Sunday, May 25, 2014

Alexandria Running Festival

Alexandria Running Festival

     After a couple months away due to an extremely busy time at work I am back.  I started training for what will be a pretty busy fall for me.  I will start with a late summer Triathlon in Asbury Park NJ.  The TriRock event on August 24th.


      I have gotten into the Marine Corps Marathon and the Army 10 Miler both in October.  I just need an Air Force run now to complete the services. 


     The end of March I competed in the Splash Mash and Dash Triathlon at the Arena Club in Churchville, MD.  To my surprise I did pretty well with a 4th place overall finish (2nd Male). 


     My travels then took me to North Carolina for an 18 day business trip.  The day after my return I ran a local 5K the Bunny 5K.  Had fun and realized I was making speed gains finally. 

     A week later I was in Atlanta riding a Trek bike with fellow wounded warriors on a Soldier Ride.  It was a great time and now have great memories and new friends. 



     Another field exercise and yet another trip to Fort Bragg got me to the ending of May and Memorial Day weekend.  This time I had an entire day between arrival back and race day.  Deciding to stay in Alexandria the night before I had to find a hotel fast.   This caused me to stay at the Red Roof Inn there.  A move I do not recommend to anyone ever.  It could be the lack of security, the pubic hairs in the microwave or the people smoking all around the 100% Smoke Free facility hard to pin down why I do not want to stay ever again. 

     Ok back to why I went to Alexandria to begin with.  I was going to run my first Half of the year.  The Alexandria Running Festival ½.  They had a packet pick up option for Saturday and Sunday morning before the race.  Saturday was my choice so I could pick up my packet get dinner and go to the room.  The room was not appeasing so I did not get much sleep.  This did not stop me from going through my usual pre –race rituals.  I showered ate then drove to the venue.  The website said they would have parking available and it would be free.  They chose not to put signs out to lead you there so the GPS was a must.  Parking complete I changed into my race clothes had a shot of Hammer Gel and moved out.  I located my friend who I was going to run with and we got ready for the 0730 start.  This 0730 start did not occur until 0800 so pre-race fueling was thrown out the window. 

     The race site gave details of the course and race etiquette.  This site said it discouraged headphones for safety reasons and because they wanted you to meet people on the course and they would have spectators cheering throughout.  I am glad I wore mine since spectators were few and far between.  The course was advertised as fast and flat with multiple surfaces to be visited.  This was true.  The only two hills were the first mile over the highway and the same hill on the way back at mile 12 ish.  The volunteers on the course were awesome.  These were the ones cheering for us and giving high fives.  The winding course took us through a very large area of a park on paths where you could easily cheer on another runner, give high fives and rock on. 

     Once out of the park and trail it was about a two mile jaunt to the finish.  There were volunteers there to hand out the medals in small ziplock baggies.  Then others to take your timing chip off our shoe.  The ending was kind of blah.  The snacks were back in the building along with restrooms.  This is miniscule but it makes things a little less streamlined at the end.   Not sure yet if I will take on this event again, if I do I will be ready for the heat and all challenges involved.