Running the Nike Women’s Half Marathon

The 2014 Nike Women Half Marathon DC is just a few days away! In case you’re not excited enough about it, here’s a throwback to the 2013 Nike Women’s Half to get you pumped up! NikeWomenHalfStart I don’t know if it’s the brand, the course or the Tiffany’s box at the finish, but one thing is certain the San Francisco Nike Women’s Half is famous! So when I heard Nike was coming to DC, I knew I wanted to participate. Both races have lotteries, but lucky for me they also have a College Program, where anyone who’s in College (bachelors, masters or PhD, you just need to have a student ID), can get a guaranteed entry. I jumped on that chance!

Packet pick-up last year was both fun and a mess. I stood in line for a long time and while I liked the Expotique, it was way too crowded. I did win a free towel for doing push-ups and there were some fun things to check out, but I think Nike made some good changes this year by adding Citywide Early Packet Pick-up and an extra day for the Expotique. Hopefully runners this year can all enjoy the great perks at the Expotique without feeling too crowded!

The race itself is in one word AWESOME!

IMG_2132The course is flat, fast and passes through some of DC’s most scenic areas. There is lots of crowd support, something I had been worried might be low because the race was right after the Boston Marathon bombings….I should have known better. The runners came out and so did a bunch of supporters, including my very own super supporter Pablo (yes, that’s him on my Hydrapak. He made me a little cutout so I would have company on the run).

The entertainment along the course was also fun. There was music everywhere! My favorite was probably the musicians in the tunnels who were jamming away and putting an extra spring in your step.

I love to hate Hains Point. It’s a beautiful part of the course, but the lack of music and crowds also makes it a tougher part of the course. Nike however did a great job posting motivational quotes along the course and as soon as I shut the negative self-talk off, I was able to return to enjoying the beautiful day and excellent company of thousands of fellow runners. 393157_10101287729311958_675236884_n

The last few miles were amazing, because I knew I was about to set a PR, but felt like they lasted forever as we got super close to the finish just to have to loop around the capital for the last couple miles. While the course this year does follow the same route, it looks like they’ve made some changes in the first and last miles and I like what it looks like. Kind of wish I was running again!

IMG_3632Then there’s the finish line. Crowds lined the street everywhere carrying signs (like the one Pablo is holding in the picture above), cowbells and of course the guy in the tuxedo with the little blue box. Medals are awesome, but little blue boxes with Tiffany necklaces. Yeah, there’s just something special about that! IMG_2141

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