100 races – that’s got a nice ring to it!  The Valentine’s Day =PR= Race Series For The Love Of It 10K was my 100th race.  Before you get too impressed, I ran my first race in 1980, and just happened to have all of my race info squirreled away on lists, in a scrapbook, and on the back of bibs until I organized it neatly on my blog’s Race Results tab.

I was more than thrilled to celebrate my 100th race with my MRTT girls, especially since we had about 26 runners show up for a very special celebration – Erin’s birthday!

Most of us had decided to caravan from my house, so bright and early Saturday morning about ten cars descended upon our cul-de-sac.  I’m sure when my neighbors woke up and saw all the cars, they just shook their heads and thought, “Debbie and Bill have another running event going on this morning – crazy runners.”

South Lakes High School was open, and we were able to hang out inside before and after the race and avoid the frigid air except for when we were running.  Considering the temperature was hoovering around 20°, we were thrilled to hang out inside.

In celebration of Erin’s birthday, almost everyone wore a sparkly skirt and looked so festive and adorable!  I don’t do sparkly skirts, so I wore my usual boring black pants.  I did, however; buy a brand new Brooks jacket and headband (with a pink tiara silk-screened on it) in celebration.  My friends warned me that the tiara headband is gateway apparel to sparkly skirts.

With seven minutes until gun time, my friends dragged me to the starting line kicking and screaming.  I was cold and very whinny, and reminded Erin and Amanda that if Bill were there, he would wrap his warm arms around me and keep me warm until the race started!  They promised they’d do the same, but didn’t follow through.  Erin handed out hand warmers and they were a huge help keeping my extremely cold hands warm!


Photo credit: Céline


Approximately 465 runners started the race at 8 AM promptly.  Surprisingly, the race results showed that the women finishers outnumbered the men 333 to 132!


Photo credit: Potomac River Running


One of the photographers was lined up right at the starting line capturing runners crossing the timing mat, and caught most of us looking down as we started our watches!


Photo credit: Potomac River Running


It took about a mile for me to warm up and get into a rhythm.  Until then, my legs felt quite cold and my breathing was still labored.  The longest distance I’d run since my mid-December injury was five miles, and I’d only run about six solid runs in the last three weeks, all ranging from three to five miles.  My goal for the race was to finish, walking whenever needed.


Photo credit: Potomac River Running


Erin, Amanda, and I fell into a comfortable pace together, and ended up staying together for the whole race.  It was perfect.

I warmed up, unzipped my jacket, and shed my second pair of gloves by the halfway point. Par for the course for this runner who’s normally dressed about one layer lighter than everyone else.


Photo credit: Potomac River Running


Prompted by the camera, Erin did a little run/dance for us!  Have you ever seen such a cute and sparkled-out birthday girl?


Photo credit: Potomac River Running


We rounded our final corner and turned onto the South Lakes High School track.  I zipped up my jacket for the finish line photo (seriously, I did), and pretty much barked orders to Amanda and Erin as we rounded the final turn.  “Smile, run tall, take long strides, look strong, but don’t run too fast and get too close to the runners in front of us.  We don’t want them to block our finish line photo.” And finally, “Don’t look down at your watch as you cross the finish line.”

I finished in 57:52 (9:20 pace), and placed 4th in my age group (the girls finished in 57:51).  Amanda and Erin stayed with me, although I’m sure they could have taken off at any time.  I was thrilled that I felt good, and didn’t need to take any walk breaks.


Photo credit: Potomac River Running


Our MRTT chapter had five first timers running the 10K distance; and my fellow Cruiser/MRTT buddy Kim ran a 53:52 (8:41 pace) and crushed her previous 10K time by over six minutes! Congrats, Kim!


Vicki completing her first 10K

The typical fare of bananas, muffins, energy bars, Gatorade, and water were stacked high on the post-race food tables for runners to enjoy.  Despite the fact that the volunteers had to be extremely cold standing outside, they were quite friendly, and helpful.


Since it was Valentine’s Day, heart shaped cookies were the star attraction!


We had three runners from our MRTT chapter place in the top three of their age groups.  Carrie finished first, Kelley finished second, and Colleen finished third.  Congrats, ladies!


Carrie and Kelley


After the awards ceremony and before we hit the road, we enjoyed delicious birthday cupcakes made by Jackie!


Erin, with her birthday cupcake


And finally, what race is complete without a carpool selfie?


The race shirt was available in a women’s cut, fits well, and is very cute!


For each =PR= Race Series race, the race logo is designed into a pin and given out at packet pick-up.  I’m getting quite the collection of those little pins since I’ve started running so many =PR= Races. The rose is compliments of my hubby!


This was a first year race, and even though I was a little nervous about running the hills in Reston since I haven’t been able to train as much or as hard as usual, the course wasn’t too bad.  As with all of their other races, =PR= Races did a great job.  I’ve never been crazy about the 10K distance, but I enjoyed my morning, and I know that was due to the excellent company.  It was the perfect 100th race!


  • Questions:
  • Do you have President’s Day off?
  • How cold is it where you live?
  • Who else raced this past weekend?