What an eventful week of activities! Retreating, food (oh the fooood!), friends, fun and of course – running. I have been looking forward to The Biggest Loser 10K for weeks now. All part of their nationwide Run/Walk Series. It went well for me (New PR!!!) even though it was HOT and humid. A little surprising outcome given I can sum up my weekly workout activity in a few words: 5.5 total miles for the week – and that includes the 3.5 during Sunday’s Outrun adventure. Needless to say I didn’t do much in the way of “training” for this race but the good news is, the 10K distance is something I can handle without much pre-work. Goodness, never thought there would be a time I could say that!!
Health and Wellness Meet and Greet
Instead of an “expo” in the traditional sense, packet pick up was held Saturday at Penn Social, a restaurant in downtown DC. While I didn’t have issues getting there, it was an odd location to be sure and not at all convenient for those who don’t live near the city. Not to mention, pickup was from 11-4 and it was the only time (unless you went early on race day) to get your swag. I was picking up for both my friend and me and headed downstairs to their open dining area for pickup. When I walked in Sione and Filipe from Season 7 were on stage giving a talk. I hung out in a very long line and took some pictures. I soon discovered there were separate 5K and 10K pick up lines so headed over to the 10K line – which wasn’t a line at all. I handed the volunteer my waivers and got my bag and bib. They couldn’t find my friends bib but we realized it was because this was the 10K pickup and she was running the 5K. The volunteer did not offer to get it but rather I had to go back to the end of the 5K line and wait. Sigh. Eventually I made my way to the front and then headed to the shirt pick up area. I saw a few more past contestants (Michael from Season 14 and Gail from Season 13 ). It was really dark downstairs and other than pickup and a running club and a couple vendors, there wasn’t much else to see so just folded up my stuff and headed out.
The Biggest Loser 10K
The race was scheduled to start at 9 am Sunday. I met up with my friend and we put on our bibs and headed to the start line. Dan from Season 5 and now a country recording artist sang the National Anthem. They had a corral start but didn’t assign anyone. We hung out in the back of the pack and were the 6th and final corral to get going. Because this was a run/walk and I was in the back, I had to do a lot of maneuvering to get through. The 5K and 10K were run at the same time and on the same course. We were at RFK Stadium and unlike other DC runs I’ve done, the entire course was run through the parking lots of the stadium. So, no real sights of the city to be had and minimal crowd support (outside of the start/finish line). The contestants were mic’d up throughout though and I got a couple of high fives from Michael Dorsey!
After the first 5K of the run, the 5k’ers went to the finish line and the 10K runners went back out on another loop. It was HOT! Aid stations were located every couple of miles and were extremely understaffed. I stopped at each one to pour some water over my head and then have a drink. I was disappointed I didn’t see any sports drinks on the course. Given how hot and humid it was, water was simply not enough. When I had looped back around and got to mile 4 people were pouring their own water which was unfortunate.
There was also very little direction on the course. I’m glad I started in the back as I was able to look ahead to others doing the 10K. At times we crossed paths with the other distance runners/walkers and I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to be on the left or right side. All in all, I finished with a time of 53:36, a new 10K PR for me!!!! Naturally I play the “I wonder…” game when I think about some of the time I wasted pouring my own water or weaving through walkers but I’m impressed with myself. I shaved nearly 4 minutes off my last 10K time which was at ZOOMA Annapolis last year!!
After finishing they offered bananas, oranges, and plums (PLUMS!!!! so yum!!) which I’ve never seen at a race before. I still never saw any beverage other than water (unless I overlooked it). Given this was an inaugural race, some of the missteps I’ve noted while inconvenient can easily be corrected so I can’t be too hard on the Biggest Loser. This is really about getting people out and active and changing lives. The amount of people that came out to participate was amazing! I was also happy for my friend who ran in her FIRST 5K ever and did GREAT. I’m so proud of her!!Despite some logistical challenges overall this was a pretty fun race and one I’d likely do again (maybe not in July!) with some modest improvements. The one way it could have been better? A visit from Trainer Dolvett Quince….