Race recap Reston 10 Miler
I missed out on the Perfect 10 race in the fall of last year and had heard that the course for the Reston 10 was the similar. I am also pretty keen to increase my race bling (yes - lured by a nice medal and swag -surely not only me)?! I wanted to give this one a go so I signed up and convinced a few other BRF's from my running group to join me and I was looking forward to doing it with running buddies around me. This race is run by a local running store and the net proceeds benefit the South Lakes High School Track and Field Program (always good to give back to the community and supporting school sports is a huge positive in my book)!
In my marathon training plan I had 13 miles to do on the taper road so I had planned to tag on another 3 miles either before or after the race but with having flown home from the UK only the evening before the race I wasn't sure how I'd feel that morning so didn't make specific plans to do it before or after and thought I'd just go with the flow.
I got a great night sleep (something about being in your own bed), and woke up before my alarm feeling pretty great actually but my running buddy Kara had been instructed to bang really LOUD on my door if I overslept (I'd laid out my gear ready so that if I left myself little time - I could virtually roll out of bed into my running gear and into her car) but thankfully I was unnecessarily worried and I even had time for a nice cup of tea before I left the house.
It was crazy busy in the parking lot when we got there, after all it is hosted in a high school so we ended up parking about a quarter of a mile away the other side of an adjoining middle school which meant we virtually skidded into the MRTT multi-chapter photo. It was quite funny to be honest - we started running as we saw there was a large crowd gathered (and arranged rather neatly in rows it has to be said) in front of the high school doors, so we instantly guessed it must be our mamas & if we didn't move our butts we would miss the awesome photo op... hence me sprawled out in the front there!
So, photo done, I was able to dash to the bathrooms inside the school. It was really nice to have a proper bathroom to go to rather than the usual porta-johns - although the lines were pretty long with only 5 or 10 minutes to race start! There were ladies lining up for the mens and telling the men to go downstairs - it was everyone for themselves (!) and once again I ended up running for the start line (this is starting to become a habit I DO NOT like)!
Thankfully the race hadn't started when I got outside again but only because they were a little delayed. I had lost all my MRTT friends and so I weaved my way to nearer the front of the pack and was glad I did as I caught a glimpse of this fella: -
Pretty impressive huh - and he did this all the way around I think! It isn't the first time I've seen him. I'm pretty sure I saw him juggling his way around the Jingle All The Way 8K in December in DC too! Maybe I should collect photos of these funky people who entertain us whilst we race?!
I also bumped into fellow chapter leaders for the Alexandria/ Arlington MRTT group Sue and Erin and we started the race together which was fun! It turned out that we were planning for a similar race pace so I'd hoped we'd stay together as it is so much fun running and chatting (and I've always ended up running races on my own to date), but as we were running along, our GPS watches were saying we were running at completely different paces even though we were together (I'm thinking it was probably my watch that was out as it hadn't been working brilliantly whilst I was out of the country the week before), but the controlling side of me really wanted to follow the numbers on my own watch so I kept to my own plan which sadly meant we got split up after only a couple of miles.
The weather was perfect, I had a superb run and was really enjoying it, and even the hills didn't seem any hassle (the speed training and hills I'd incorporated into my training really felt like they were paying off) and then I passed mile 6 marker and headed down a hill only to see a young girl passed out in front of me on the side of the road with a man who looked completely in shock. My heart did a somersault and in that instant, I think my motherly instincts must have kicked in because I just bailed on running and stopped to help. I didn't even know if I could help at that point as I'm not medically trained but things had clearly only just taken a nasty turn and all I knew was I had an inhaler (in case she was asthmatic), Gu fuel and some water so I stopped to see if there was anything at all I could do. It turned out she wasn't asthmatic but she was able to tell us she was hyperglycemic. I fed her my last two remaining fuel gels and some water from my Camelbak whilst another runner (who turned out to be a Dr) stopped too and called her parents, who were running ahead in the race. Thankfully she had completed the vital info on the back of her bib, she was in good hands and the ambulance wasn't far behind so soon after I carried on my way. What a shock it was to see such a young girl be in such a terrible way. It really did hit home how important it is to carry emergency info whilst out running.
I worked out I must have been stopped there nearly 10 minutes - my chip time just became insignificant at that point so once I was on my way again and I saw another MRTT friend Jody, I decided to run along with her instead of running at the same pace I had been. I wasn't going to get a PR now anyway. So I enjoyed the rest of the lovely route around Reston and enjoyed a lovely chat too, only pulling away for the last half mile or so to cross the line to the smiling face of my friend Deborah who sadly couldn't run that day due to a running injury but she made my day by handing me my medal. Sometimes life is bigger than a PR.
It was lovely to catch up with so many local running friends after the race and to be treated to a REALLY nice medal and some lovely post race snacks. After the antics of the day I never got my extra 3 miles in either but you know, sometimes we have to look at what we HAVE done and not what we haven't so for today, I'm happy.
In summary - I LOVED the race and would definitely do it again. It is nice sometimes to not have to deal with the logistics issues that the larger races present.
Have you ever had to bail on a race mid way through? How did it make you feel and were you bothered about affecting your race time? How do you choose to carry your emergency contact info whilst out running?