This past Saturday I ran the Electric Run 5k race in National Harbor, MD. It was my first 5k since July’s Crystal City Twilighter 5k and I had a great race!
Heather and I set out for National Harbor a little early (at 5 pm for an 8 pm race) because we knew traffic was going to be terrible. National Harbor is right across the bridge from Alexandria, and there’s really only one road running into this small area so we knew it would get backed up quick. Good thing we left as early as we did, because we still sat in 30-40 minutes of traffic despite being so early for the race.
Once we got into the area and parked, we headed off to check-in and explore the pre-race set up. Thankfully this race had plenty of porta-potties (unlike Run or Dye), but there wasn’t too much else going on. Most people were hanging out be-jeweling themselves with glow bracelets and glow paint purchased from the booths but Heather and I decided to pass on that. Unfortunately a passer-by bumped into me, thereby forcibly applying paint to my arm. I was actually sort of grateful it was paint instead of just a sweaty person bumping into me. Also, (just like at Color Me Rad) we noticed that the first aid booth was completely unattended. Weird.
We crowded into the starting gate around 8 pm to wait to be released. It seems to be a pattern with these fun runs that they cram everyone into one starting corral and then release a few hundred people at a time. I’m not hugely experienced with races but this just seems to be a slow way to do things. Once again, Heather and I didn’t actually start running until about 8:45 pm.
Once we got going, it was a great course. It started off with a hill, but that lead to a nice long downhill from about 1/2 mile in just past a mile. It was a great way to shake out my legs and really settle into the run. I felt great throughout the whole run, which I was really grateful for after my de-motivating 2 miler on Wednesday night. It’s amazing the difference a new day can make! Throughout the course there were various sections with bright, neon decorations, lights, and music. I tried to snap a few pictures but since it was dark outside they all turned out not so great.
Hopefully you get the idea! My one complaint was that there were long(ish) sections of the course that had no lights/music at all so they were sort of dark and lonely in comparison. But I guess there are limits to exactly how much electrical cord you can string throughout three miles. My favorite thing about the course was that it went through such a wide variety of terrain. It started off on the ramp to the highway (shut down of course), then cut down on a crushed stone/shell path by the water, then went through a dirt road area before finally cutting down the main strip of National Harbor. The last part was my favorite part because it was well-lit and had tons of spectators (both on purpose and other unsuspecting people who were just there to have dinner/hit the bars). My favorite part of racing is the positive energy and love you can feel both from the spectators and other runners!
At the end of the course there was a stage with more lights and a DJ so we hung out and enjoyed a beer and the rave-atmosphere before heading to one of our favorite local bars to relax and listen to some live music. It was a great night and a great way to kick off training!
Of course on the way to the bar we stopped to take “strong woman” photos with a statue we found. It couldn’t be helped.
Oh, and I have to share a picture of my awesome rainbow of glow bracelets! I picked these up for $1 at Michaels before the race – so much better than spending money at the pre-race booths!