The race went great - the weather was perfect (70s and sunny), the bands along the course were good, the crowds were great, and the sites were even better! Like last year, the half marathon course went around some of the best sites in DC - the Supreme Court, Library of Congress, Union Station, the National Mall, the White House, and the Octagon House - and some of the best neighborhoods - Capitol Hill, Dupont Circle, Columbia Heights, and H St. NE. Below is a map of the course to give you an idea of what we got to see along those 13.1 miles.
While the race went great, it was even better to run for something other than ourselves. Not only did we raise money for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation, but we also made sure to support our troops on the day of the race by wearing shirts in memory of those who paid the ultimate sacrifice.
Chris wore a TSAF memorial t-shirt honoring the fallen 1/75 Army Rangers, including our friend, Jeremy Katzenberger, who I wrote about this summer. Will and I wore Wear Blue: Run to Remember t-shirts. Wear Blue's mission is to use its running community to create a living memorial to the service and sacrifice of the American Military. They run for "the Fallen, for the Fighting, and for the Families." I just happened to stumble across their website a few months ago and thought that it'd be a great community of runners to join and support. What was really touching was that at one point during the race another Wear Blue runner, a veteran, spotted me on the course on Saturday and our short conversation before he ran ahead, that little bit of camaraderie between the two of us, reminded me why I was running - I wasn't running for myself, but for others.
Just so you can see, below is the back of both shirts, which are pretty cool. My apologies for my sweaty-ness, I had JUST finished running. . .
We don't have any "action" shots of us running, besides what's on the Marathon's website (which aren't very pretty, at least for me!), but here are some photos of us reveling in our post-race glow, err, sweat!
This last picture is Chris and I pointing out how I dominated my IT band. I was really nervous that my IT band flare-up would prevent me from finishing the race, but I did! (How I did might be another post...) I certainly didn't beat my personal best, which was my goal when I first started training, but I finished. And, I wasn't too much off my best time anyway, despite the bum leg! Whenever I felt a twinge of pain or had doubts about finishing, I remembered who I was honoring by running this race - the pain and hardships others have gone through - and then the pain I was feeling didn't bother me as much.
I'm already planning my next half marathon, and this time, I'll make sure my body's healthy and I'll finally beat my personal best! In the meantime, on behalf of me, Chris, and Will, THANK YOU for helping us support our cause, and THANK YOU to our military men and women and their families for their ongoing sacrifices!