I hope you like lots of pictures, because today’s 2014 Leesburg 20K recap is chock-full of them! Proceeds from today’s race benefited the YMCA of Loudoun County’s youth programs, and it’s always nice to run a race that benefits something I find important. I ran this race back in 2004, and I can’t believe that I haven’t run it since. I think the fear of our August heat and humidity has kept me me from signing up!
The weather forecast this year; however, was pretty good considering it’s mid-August. A 7:30 AM race start got us going in 68°, but it heated up quickly to around 80° by the time we finished. Still, for mid-August, I’m not complaining! Much of the race was run on the W&OD Trail, a trail that I train on regularly. We were in shade much of the time and that certainly helped keep us comfortable. Despite feeling pretty comfortable, I was drenched with sweat when I finished.
Yesterday’s packet pick-up went easy, breezy at the Leesburg Potomac River Running Store. While there we picked up fuel for Bill, and a new shirt for me (it’s the green one I’m wearing at the race, and I now consider my lucky shirt). I love everything about the race shirt! It fits me perfectly, it’s white, it’s got great colors on the logo, and it’s got a cow and barn on the front. This former farm girl is stoked!
What none of us planned on was traffic… It was quite slow getting into the parking garage, and by the time Bill and I got to the top of the garage, most of the spaces were taken; and there were still long lines of traffic trying to get in.
Courtney and Julie were still stuck in that traffic when we snapped this quick picture with Kathryn and Jenny before Erin and I took off for our next photo opp. And yes, Kathryn and Jenny are as sweet and nice in person as they look in the picture!
The problem with having so many friends you want to see before the race is finding time to make it to the porta potties before the race starts. I rushed to the porta potties only to find the lines extremely long, and took off for plan B. Unfortunately, other local runners remembered that there was a porta potty just down the street on the trail, too, so by the time I got there, there was a short line. While in line, I met a girl named Jenny (not the one pictured above) and chatted a while; and little did I know what a speedy girl she is! More on this Jenny later…
Just as I got back to our designated multi-chapter MRTT group picture spot, they were finishing up. Erin saw me run up, and called our chapter back together. I was shocked to see Sue there, so I grabbed her and had her join our chapter picture. Sue had just finished running three miles and she was going to run another three miles after the race so she could get her 18-mile training run in for the day. What a rock star!
This is without a doubt my favorite spot on the 44.5-mile long trail, and I decided to take a photo on the run so you could see how fast I was running. HaHa! Seriously, I was not about to stop on an uphill section, and have to start up again.
As you can see from the course elevation, it was a great race for reverse splits, and that’s exactly what I planned, and executed!
As always, =PR= had photographers at the finish line, and one snapped this fun finish line photo of me. If you remember, their photos are available free for download, which is a huge race perk.
I crossed the finish line in 1:45:30 (8:30 pace) and was immediately handed a finisher’s medal and bottle of water.
I worked my way back to the finish line to watch for my friends to come in, and soon saw Erin and snapped this picture. I love that I caught her with both feet off the ground!
After a girls photo, we decided to let the guys join us.
Remember my bathroom buddy Jenny? Well, she just happened to be the second place women’s finisher with a time of 1:25:57 (6:56 pace)! I told you she was speedy!
We heard an announcement that the 20K awards ceremony was about to start, and headed over to see if I’d placed. Courtney and Julie were sweet enough to tag along and hang out with us! They are so fun, and I wish we lived closer together so we could run together every week!
Age group first place prizes were a cowbell and a $25 gift certificate to Potomac River Running Store! Yes, please; and thank you!
- A 20K is not a very common distance for a race, have you ever run one?
- Shirtless guys at a race: Never, or only if they’re easy on the eyes?
- Who raced this weekend?