MCM 10k Race Recap 2014

Hello my friends! As you know, Matt and I ran the MCM 10k – the lesser known sibling to the iconic Marine Corps Marathon – on Sunday morning.

After I flubbed the start time for the Clarendon Day 10k last month and accidentally ran the 5k instead, I was chatting with Heather on gchat. “You know,” she said, “You could sign up for the MCM 10k, and that way we could get up together on race morning!” Hmm, good idea! I’d heard it was a fun 10k, and it started at the same time (just in a different location) as the marathon, which meant our guest wouldn’t get up in the dark by herself to go run. Deal! I got Matt on board, too, and it was set – MCM 10k or bust!

On race morning, we were all up nice and early, as per usual for DC races – arrive excessively early or else you’ll find yourself waiting in the porta potty line when the gun goes off. Matt and I parted ways with Heather at Rosslyn metro and headed on down to the national mall, where the 10k started. We were there an hour before the race started – plenty of time.

It was an absolutely beautiful morning to run – clear and cold!

I was glad we arrived early – there was a big security checkpoint line before you could enter the starting area. With that done, next up was these porta potties with a view.

We had no problem hitting the bathrooms and dropping off our bag at bag check, and lined up at the start with 15 minutes to spare.

Brrrr – shedding my jacket for the bag check was a sad moment. It was chilly out there, but I knew I’d be glad I was in a tank top once the race started. (I was.)

A few minutes later, and we were off!

As usual, it was pretty crowded at the start, but we were able to settle in to a decent pace after about half a mile.

I completely forgot to wear my GPS watch (fail), so Matt used his phone to track our pace. I wanted to PR this race, which meant we would need to finish in under 48:54 (7:53 min/mile). When our first mile came in around 8:15 and felt hard, I figured a PR might not happen, but that I’d push as hard as I could and see where it landed us.

The crowd support was pretty minimal since I assume most people were waiting to cheer for the marathoners later on (totally understood!), but I loved this drum band they had out there!

Mile 2! Heading onto the 14th street bridge, which is part of the full marathon course and apparently REALLY challenging since it’s long, hilly, and at their miles 20-22.

Made it! Look at that beautiful blue sky. The leaves are all starting to change now, too – I love it!

One cool thing about this course is that around mile 5 we actually ran by the full marathon starting line once everyone had already left!

It was crazy to see the starting area of a race after everyone had left – look at all those throwaway clothes! Volunteers were there loading all of it onto trucks so it could be donated.

On we went! I knew by this point I wasn’t going to be able to PR but I just did my best to keep up a good clip (and keep up with Matt – he’s so fast from soccer)!

Hello, mile 6!

The finish line of the MCM 10k is the same as the full marathon (we were just there way earlier, obviously), which was cool. It also meant we got to experience the super steep hill you finish on – rough – can’t imagine doing this at mile 26!

In the finisher’s chute! Thank you to those who were already out cheering. 🙂

Matt was a tiny bit ahead but slowed enough that we could do the final sprint together. 🙂 Someday (maybe next year…?) I’ll be back for you, MCM finish line – but after running 26.2 miles!

Cute medals!

Awkwardly shaded finish photo:

That’s better. 🙂

Our official finish time was 51:17, for an average pace of 8:15 minute miles. Not a new PR, but still an awesome pace! I’m happy my speed is starting to return. 🙂

Overall, I give this race two thumbs up! Pretty course and it was extremely well organized – especially the UPS bag check. I loved that they gave you plastic bags right after the race to hold your water/food samples, that they had compost bins for the banana peels, and that there was free watermelon. 🙂

Matt and I headed home after the race and I quickly showered and headed back to the finish line to cheer on Sokphal and Heather! They were both looking so strong running up that last hill that they didn’t see me – and sped by so quickly I couldn’t get a picture! Proud of them. They didn’t get their A goals but they both ran strong, smart races.

Have a great day, my friends!

Anyone else race over the weekend? How did it go?

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