Before I talk about the race itself, I'll talk about what could have been. I was running later than I thought I would in terms of getting up to Annapolis, and to boot I thought I was ready to go but forgot my sunglasses. A five minute delay caused by me going back to get them could have saved me a lot of headaches as it turned out. I was delayed a bit on the Beltway by a nasty car wreck that required multiple ambulances and police cars. Had I not had that last delay I would have been right in that area where the wreck happened. Whew!
They had a running expo where I picked up my registration packet, picked up some running tights for cooler temps for 1/3 of what they normally cost. Also picked up a couple of Under Armour tops for cheap and a pair of Adidas running shoes for $30, continuing my mantra of if you get them for ridiculously cheap get them and save them for later. Hotel was okay but breakfast started at 7, race starts at 7:45. Damn. Had to drive out to Giant to get some bananas, gotta have the potassium.
Race morning, other than the traffic to Navy Marine Corps Stadium (which is smaller than I figured it would be but I think they took out seats in one of the end zones - the seats look like they're on top of the action though) everything went well. I decided to take it as more of an experimental race since a ten miler is a new distance for me, there were lots of hills, and I was trying out a new running belt that holds small water bottles.
Well, I lost about 3 minutes or so because I had to fix stuff with the belt and shorts (just like Rockville) but that was cool. The hills weren't ridiculously steep save for a small one after crossing the Navy Bridge into Severn, but there were a lot of them. Not to mention crossing the same bridge twice, followed by an uphill stretch at mile 9 that we didn't run down on the way there. The final rough count: 1 hour 37 minutes 10 seconds. Not a great pace for me by any means, but it was the longest race for me yet, and as I said earlier, it was an experiment just as much as it was a race. Keeping in mind the time I lost, the hills, and the fairly high humidity, and I was pleased with the day. My legs didn't start to feel heavy until mile 8 or so, good sign. I was able to run harder than I had been towards the finish line to finish strong, another good sign.
I definitely recommend this race to people. There are reasons why the 5,500 participant limit fills up in barely over a week, if that. It's a very professional operation with tons of water stops. And there were plenty of neighbors who squirted us with hoses (and the runoff water all seemed to go downslope somewhere for re-use!). I love the running jacket I got as a premium for finishing too! The city's also pleasant, reminded me of a smaller Old Town Alexandria with Boston-style, not straight, cobblestone streets. Tons of people there, no shortage of places to eat. A worthwhile weekend for sure.