Fit Foodie 5K Race Recap

I woke up Saturday morning hearing the pitter-patter of rain on the skylights in our bedroom.  I got dressed, drank plenty of water, ate a banana with some peanut butter on it, and packed my car with my racing essentials.  My friend Erin met me at our house and we took off in the rain to run The Fit Foodie 5K.


I had picked up our race numbers and shirts the night before at packet pickup, so we didn’t have to worry about standing in the long line in the rain on race morning.


Parking was a breeze since there was plenty of room in the parking garage, and as soon as we walked the short distance to Strawberry Park, we set out to find the porta potties.  Shockingly, there were no lines!  The difference between porta potty lines at 5K’s and longer races still blows my mind.


Erin was very happy that there was no porta potty line


Erin and I headed back to Strawberry Park and found shelter under the overhang of the Matchbox restaurant where we were having an MRTT multi-chapter meet-up before the race.  Sue is a fellow MRTT sister, but runs with a different chapter.  Our meet-up location put us in the perfect spot for the 8:30 group stretch.


Yoga warm-ups started with Kristin McGee in the rain at 8:30.  We were standing behind her “on the stage” so I’m sure everyone got a good laugh out of my yoga form!


Kristin’s yoga stretch was followed by a cardio warm-up which took place when I usually like to go out and do a one mile easy run for my warm-up.  I bounced around a little bit and called it a warm-up!


Before heading over to the start of the race, we decided to take a quick #tweetyourfeet picture.   While taking the picture, Sue’s head suddenly popped onto the screen as she photobombed the picture.  Apparently, she’s well known for this particular stunt!


We asked Erin to take a group picture before we headed over to the start of the race.  During the course of the day, I promoted Erin from friend to media director of Deb Runs!  I think she did a very good job of keeping me focused and making sure I got all of the necessary pictures; and taking pictures when needed!


L to R: Sue, Erika, Lauren, Courtney, Cynthia, and Deb

It stopped raining just before we left our little protective overhang and the rain continued to stay away throughout the race.  While we were walking to the starting line, Amy caught up with us, so we had Erin take another pre-race ambassador picture, minus Lauren who was out warming up.


L to R: Amy, Deb, Sue, Erika, Courtney, and Cynthia

The ambassadors were asked to meet next to the race announcer ten minutes before the start of the race so we could be introduced, but that didn’t really happen.  He thanked the ambassadors and went on with his announcements.  We quickly jumped into the sea of runners ready to start the race.  Since there were no pace signs we made a random guess as to where we should be… big mistake.  We should have seeded ourselves closer to the front.


Looking toward the starting line


Due to the large number of runners (over 1,100) the race organizers decided to start the race in waves which was a very good idea, but there were no signs for the start of each wave.  The first wave took off and we moved closer to the starting line.  We were in the second wave and we started about a minute and a half later.


Looking at the runners behind us

The second our wave started, we were jockeying for a spot to run as the street narrowed down past the tents set up for the post-race Love DC Chefs Experience.  At points we were running so slowly that it reminded me of the start of a marathon with 25,000 runners.

I immediately decided that I wouldn’t be racing this 5K, so I relaxed and decided to make the best of it.  But then a few hundred yards down the course, the street widened and we were able to pick up our pace.

Many 5K’s have inexperienced runners who don’t realize that if they plan to walk they shouldn’t be at the very front near the starting line.  It’s not their fault really, it’s just a lack of experience; and I passed many walkers from the previous wave during my first mile.


About 3/4 miles into the race we ran through the parking garage and everyone’s Garmins and  RunKeeper apps lost satellite…  Since I was still convinced that I wasn’t racing, I did a few sprint photo fartleks and turned around to take pictures of the other runners.  I wasn’t the least bit concerned about conserving my energy.  This was just going to be a fun run!


As you can see from the course map at the top of the page, we had a few out-and-backs which made it fun to see my friends along the course.  At around the one mile mark, the guy in the blue shirt (right side of photo) said I looked fast and asked me at what pace I usually raced.  I told him I was hoping for an 8:00 minute/mile pace, and somehow saying that out loud motivated me to push it.  I grabbed a water and then kicked it into high gear!


Shortly after the water stop I saw Erin and stopped long enough to take her picture.  There were no photographers along the course and I knew she would love to have a picture.


There were police officers on the course, but I didn’t notice any sentries (I could have missed them).  At one of the turnarounds it would have been helpful if we had been told to stay to the left while meeting runners coming our way because when we went straight a little while later as runners coming toward us made a left turn, we ran into each other.

Another time, just before I took this picture, I almost ran straight instead of making a left turn to head home.  There was a policeman there and I think he might have been blocking the arrow pointing left.  Runners way behind me in a much later wave were coming down the hill and turning left and as I came in the opposite direction, I almost followed them. Out of the corner of my eye I noticed people running up the hill, so I asked the office which way to go.  Missing that turn would have been disastrous to my overall time!


I continued to push myself pretty hard, but could never catch the guy in the blue shirt.  He got a little ahead of me when I stopped for water and then again to take Erin’s picture, but I kept him in my sights and used him to push me the rest of the race.  I tried to find him after we finished to thank him, but I couldn’t.

Immediately after crossing the finish line I found Lauren who had totally kicked butt and won her age group.  She’s been running less than a year, and I’m so impressed with how crazy fast she is!

I looked for water, but couldn’t find any so I went back to the finish line to take pictures of my friends as they finished.  First across the line was Erin.  Keep in mind as you look at the clock on the left that none of us started in the first wave, and most of my friends were in the third wave or later so it was very hard to keep track of our times until we checked the official results.


Next I saw Cynthia heading toward us…


And then Courtney setting a PR!


Followed by Amy!


I was distracted and both Erika and Sue finished without me seeing them cross the finish line.


Erika and Cynthia

Soon after we finished we bumped into Kim, another ambassador whom we hadn’t seen yet during the weekend…


Amy and Kim

At some point I went over to the results tent and looked up my time.  WHAT???  I finished in 23:49 (7:40 pace) and won my age group!  The combination of the wave start and losing satellite in the garage totally threw me off so I had no idea what my official time was.  If you remember one of my 2014 running goals was to run a sub 24:00 5K this year, so now I can cross that off my list.

I waited and waited for the awards ceremony, but as I mentioned earlier, I had other plans and had to leave the Mosaic District by 11 AM.  Lauren was kind enough to send a picture of her medal for me to use until mine comes in the mail (thanks, Lauren!).

For an inaugural race I felt that The Fit Foodie went very well.  The positives far outweigh the negatives and I’m sure that the feedback from the runners and ambassadors will help make the 2015 event even better.  I had one of my most fun racing weekends ever and hope that I can be a part of this great event again next year!

If you live in Austin, TX (September 12-14) or San Diego, CA (November 14-16), I highly recommend you run this fun race!  If you do, let me know what you think!


  • Questions:
  • Do many of the 5K races you run have water stops? ~ For me it’s always a pleasant surprise to see one!
  • Did any of my local readers run in this race?
  • What are your vacation plans for this summer?
Happy Running! ~ Deb


  1. I was so sorry to have missed this one. So many of my friends-and yours- were there. Looks like you all had a fab time. Congrats on the great 5k time.
    Deborah @ Confessions of a Mother Runner recently posted…Mino Shoe tracker Review & GiveawayMy Profile

    • Deb Runs Deb Runs
      June 25, 2014    

      Thanks, Deborah! It would have been so fun if you’d been there!

  2. June 25, 2014    

    What a great race and it was awesome to see so many blogger ambassadors together. Congrats on the sub 24 and winning your age group that is huge.

    All the 5k races I’ve run had water stops. But I take my own water no matter what. Vacation plans are to rent a cabin out in the woods at the end of July. Cooler weather and some great trail running.
    The running Schlub recently posted…Weekly Training Recap 6/15 – 6/21My Profile

    • Deb Runs Deb Runs
      June 25, 2014    

      Renting a cabin in the woods sounds wonderful! And plenty of trail running? Sign me up!

  3. June 25, 2014    

    I hope you don’t mind that I totally stole one of your cocktail party pics from you. (I GAVE YOU CREDIT! I just had zero photos of our group!)
    I LOVE your recap. You were stopping to take photos AND you were that speedy and won your age group? You’re incredible! You are going to love your medal. :)
    Salt recently posted…Recap: Om Nom Nom. Fit Foodie Food. {What I Ate – and Drank – Wednesday}My Profile

    • Deb Runs Deb Runs
      June 25, 2014    

      So glad you grabbed my photo. If it’s okay with you, I’d love to use the picture and the girls in the beer garden where you were doing your crazy yoga pose (and of course give you credit)! I didn’t take many pictures in the post-race athletes village. Hoping to the the post-race recap up later this week.

      I’ll head over tonight to check out your recap. :-)

  4. Amy Amy
    June 25, 2014    

    Wow! Way to go finishing and winning your age group. This seriously sounds like my kind of (fun!) 5K. I hate racing 5Ks, but I tend to run faster when there are big crowds around me. I do not like the small little 5K races because I feel more pressure to go fast and I do not like fast!
    Amy recently posted…What Would You Do to Get Out of a Parking Ticket?My Profile

    • Deb Runs Deb Runs
      June 27, 2014    

      I have only learned to like 5K’s in the past year, and it was the first big 5K I’ve ever run. It’s more fun winning my age group when there are 66 people in it than when there’s only me… not that I’m competitive or anything!

  5. Deborah Deborah
    June 25, 2014    

    Congratulations on a super race!

    • Deb Runs Deb Runs
      June 27, 2014    


  6. June 26, 2014    

    Great recap! It’s interesting to see how different the course was for you (fast runner early wave) and me (slow runner 5th or 6th wave). That water stop had a long line of people standing and waiting when I got to it! And thanks for making me an ambassador, but I was just a participant. Maybe next year I will be so lucky!! See you at Firecracker next week :)
    Kimberly Westrich recently posted…Twilight 4-Miler RecapMy Profile

    • June 26, 2014    

      PS – I should note those water stop volunteers were doing a heroic job trying to keep up with demand and it is not their fault there was a line. They needed more help and more water for all the runners! I am grateful to the volunteers that worked so hard for us!!
      Kimberly Westrich recently posted…Twilight 4-Miler RecapMy Profile

    • Deb Runs Deb Runs
      June 27, 2014    

      Oops, sorry for the mix-up. I would have promoted you if I could have… You know I tried! :-)

      • June 27, 2014    

        And I appreciate it :) I just didn’t want you to think I was a terrible non-promoting ambassador!
        Kimberly Westrich recently posted…June RunnerBoxMy Profile

  7. June 29, 2014    

    This looks like such a fun 5k! Congrats on your time!
    Caroline recently posted…My First Runnerversary!My Profile

    • Deb Runs Deb Runs
      July 2, 2014    


  8. July 2, 2014    

    Way to go Speedy McSpeedster! Cross another 2014 goal off the list :) like I’ve said before, I think you need to make a “2014 goals – part 2” list for the second half of the year. I was wondering as I read through your recap if this was the first year for the race, and at the end of your post you confirmed that. Sounds like they have a few things to work on for next year. But it looks like it went pretty well for the inaugural event!

    I typically see at least one water stop at 5K’s. I never drink water, though. I can’t drink when I’m running that hard!
    Meagan recently posted…Weekly Workout Roundup – June 23 – 29My Profile

    • Deb Runs Deb Runs
      July 2, 2014    

      Thank you! And yes, for an inaugural event it went very well!

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Race PR’s (Personal Records)

5K - 22:57 (7:23 pace)
8K - 39:25 (7:55 pace)
10K - 47:05 (7:40 pace)
Ten Mile - 1:16:22 (7:38 pace)
20K - 1:45:30 (8:30 pace)
Half Marathon - 1:54:34 (8:45 pace)
Twenty Mile - 2:46:14 (8:18 pace)
Marathon - 3:29:04 (7:59 pace)
Ultramarathon - 10:50:30 (13:00 pace)

2016 Race Schedule

February 14 - Run Your Heart Out 5K
April 17 - Loudoun 8K or Half Marathon
April 29 & 30 - Ragnar Trail Richmond Ultra
May 22 - Chicago Spring Half Marathon
July 4 - Firecracker 5K
August 21 - Leesburg 20K
September 16 & 17 - Ragnar DC
November 24 - Thanksgiving Day 5K
December 11 - Frosty 5K

Favorite Races

1997 Marine Corps Marathon (3:44:56) - first marathon and first Boston qualifier

1997 JFK 50-Miler (10:50:30) - first and only ultra

1998 Boston Marathon (3:39:57) - first Boston

1999 Steamtown Marathon (3:29:04) - PR marathon

2010 North Face Endurance Challenge Marathon (5:32:38) - favorite trail marathon


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