March 26, 2013

Marine Corps 17.75k Recap

Most random distance ever.

17.75 kilometers equates to about 11.03 miles.

New race distance = new PR though so I'll take it!

The race was out in Quantico Manassas Prince William County, somewhere, I'm not sure.

They claimed they didn't have Race Day Packet Pick Up so The Pilot made the trek all the way out to Quantico on Friday to pick up my packet.

He was less than pleased when we got to the race on Saturday morning to find Race Day Packet Pick Up. Rude.

Anyway, we got to the race around 7:15 for the 8am start time and stayed in the car keeping warm until about 7:50 when The Pilot walked me over to the start and I met up with Emily. We chatted for a few minutes with Rebecca before crossing the start.

The first mile and a half or so were a long stretch down the highway before turning into Prince William Forest Park. When we first entered the park, we took a short, steel hill up before cruising into a steady downhill for about a mile.

The early parts of the Park were trail, which I had known going in and in those early stages, my mind set was very clearly shouting, "This is AMAZING! I LOVE TRAIL RACES! OMG I'M GOING TO SIGN UP FOR A TRAIL MARATHON! WOOOOOO! I LOVE THIS!"

The park was pretty desolate (it wasn't open to spectators) and I had my music in to just kind of tune everything out, but everything was just so pretty that I kept it on very low and turned it off at several points in the race just to enjoy everything around me.

The course was rolling hills, winding up and down through the park. There was no running the tangents on this one!

Yea, Mile 8? No picnic.
The course was a fairly even mix of trail and road which definitely made for an interesting dynamic. IT was mentally more challenging because you never really knew when the landscape was going to change. Mile 7 brought on an unbelievably steep downhill that I thought I would start rolling down at any minute. I had a hunch - and I was right - that this downhill was going to be met by an equally challenging uphill and I was right.

Mile 8 was brutal. Everyone around me stopped to walk. I remembered some advice that Katie has given to me during Richmond - power up the hills, recover on the the downhill - and it worked. I powered up that hill, knowing full well that what goes up, most come down, and enjoyed the recovery that was Mile 9.

I knew from the course description that the course finished on an incline. I didn't know how steep or how tough that incline would be but when it hit, man did it hit hard.

The last mile was up a very narrow, winding trail with layers of rock so thick under my feet that I felt like I was running on sand. There was absolutely no sprinting out the last mile. It was brutal. In the last stretch, I managed to pick off a girl I had been piggy backing the entire race and that felt pretty awesome. The whole mile, I was cursing my earlier declaration of love to trail running and thinking, "I HATE THIS. This is so stupid. Why do people do this? Trails? Seriously? Stick to ASPHALT!"

I crossed the Finish Line, grabbed some Gatorade and a bunch of snacks and headed over to get my Access Granted pass so that I could register for Marine Corps.

Best part of the Finish Line?

Foam rollers! Seriously? What a genius idea! My hip had been bothering me from Mile 1 and I was dreading getting in the car without being able to foam roll!

Access Granted. 
All in all, it was a good race and I'm excited to tackle Marine Corps again in October. I have revenge to seek on that damned 14th Street Bridge and I'm ready for it.

Oh and I'm still up in the air about trail running. 


  1. Glad you enjoyed the race!! I ran it, too, and was also super pumped about the foam rollers at the end!!

    If you loved those trails, you should definitely hit up some more dirt trails. I am obsessed with trail running.

    See you at the MCM in October!! =)

  2. It was great to meet you! I love how we had the complete opposite opinions on the trail :) I didn't even see those foam rollers at the end. Lame! I did get a massage though, totally worth standing in line for! I am definitely going to be hill training so I can be more prepared for hilly courses!

  3. Congrats on a great race!! Such a random distance, but I'm glad you ran it and everything was good :) No foot problems??

  4. Looks like such an awesome race - random distance and all. And woo hoo for guaranteed entry to Marine Corps! One day I'll come do that one. :)

  5. Foam rolllers at the finish is totally genius.

  6. Good job! I know this is not an easy area to run. I live 30 min south of there, wish I could have joined you! Maybe next year!


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