Image: Manassas Runway 10K/5K
I remember John described their events as “great value for the money” – he was not kidding! The 5K was $20 for early registration (10K was $35) and it came with a shirt and a medal. Flat course + medal… I thought this would be a great option for Cliff’s first 5K. I asked if he was interested and signed us up.
There were two packet pickup options:
- Saturday April 25, 2015 11AM -3PM (the day before the race)
- Sunday April 26, 2015 6AM-7:15AM (race morning)
I briefly considered driving to Manassas to pickup our bibs on Saturday, but figured it would not save too much time on Sunday morning. Manassas is a good 45-60 minutes from DC (depending on traffic), so I am glad they had the race day option. We left DC around 6:00AM and arrived 40 minutes later (race organizers sent instructions earlier in the week and provided some driving guidance). There were marshals who directed us to parking.
We headed to the Manassas Regional Airport where we picked up our bib/shirt inside (behind the people in the yellow shirts).
At that point the line was not too long and it went by pretty quickly. My bib was missing (odd – may have gotten stuck to another bib), so organizers gave me a replacement bib. I was really impressed with the quality of the shirt. Unlike the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler cotton tees…these were nice and soft.
We brought our shirts back to my car (running into Kathryn and Preston) and debated if we should wear our vests or not. We warmed up walking to the car, but it was still pretty chilly…so the vests won (I wore a tank top under a long sleeved shirt and leggings).
Race Goals (“A” least probable and “C” most probable)
My plan was to run with Cliff at a pace in which he was comfortable and use a run/walk interval when he wanted. Since this was his first 5K, it meant automatic PR (woo). As with any first race, the goal was to finish.
Manassas Runway 5K
After we dropped off our shirts at my car, we walked towards the starting line (there were still cars rolling in around 7:15AM). It was neat to see all the planes on the runway.
Both the 10K and 5K runners started at the same time – 10K runners to the left and 5K runners to the right. We wished Kathryn good luck on her PR attempt and got in line for the 7:30AM start.
The first mile took runners down the runway in one direction and back the other direction for miles two and three. It was nice not worrying about turns!
Image: Manassas Runway 5K
Here we are shortly after the start!
The first mile marker came quickly – I looked down at my Garmin and we were about a tenth of a mile short. Our first (Garmin) split was 13:09. Cliff was doing great and we even saw a small plane take off to the right. At that point the sun emerged from the clouds and it was getting a bit warm.
We started 1:1 run/walk intervals shortly after the first mile. There was a water stop around mile 1.5 – and we happily grabbed a Dixie cup of H2O. After the turnaround we were running against the wind – while it cooled us off, it made the course a little tougher. We passed mile two (below) with a 14:02 split. The end was near!
We turned our last corner and the finish line (same as the starting line) was in sight. Our last split was 14:06 and we finished with a time of 42:37 or 13:45/mile. While we were on the course I told him this was about my pace when I returned to running in October 2013.
We received our medals and a bottle of water….photo opt time!
I was so happy/proud of Cliff! I was impressed with his race even though training did not always go according to plan (work/school/life) – I knew he could do it!
We saw Kathryn finish her 10K! No spoilers here 🙂 Unfortunately I missed John – but looked like he had a fun race as well.
Cute medal for the 5K!
- Great value for the race – the sliding registration prices were $20/$25/$30 for the 5K and $35/$40/$45 for the 10K. I like when there ate multiple race distances at an event.
- Almost 600 people ran the 5K and 300 for the 10K – so not too big.
- Beginner friendly course – flat! Hello PR!
- There was plenty of room on the runway, not too much crowding (at least for the 5K).
- I found parking easy, but we did get there early.
- Nice cotton shirt – they offered male and female cuts.
- Medals for 5K and 10K (they were the same ones)…always a goody for shorter distances.
- Even though the first mile marker was short of a mile, my Garmin indicated we ran 3.12 miles so it could have been a placement issue.
- Pre-race communications was sufficient – event organizers sent a word document with all the information – nothing too fancy.
- It was difficult to hear the announcer when we were lined up for the race. May have been helpful to add signs 10K to the left and 5K to the right.
- Volunteers did a good job of directing 10K and 5K runners at the split.
Overall it was a great race and I’d participate again (10K or 5K). I wouldn’t mind checking out the Dulles Runway 10K/5K as well (different event organizers and larger airplanes since its a larger airport). It would be fun to run with Cliff again – but don’t expect him to be race crazy like me 🙂
Have you ever participated in a race on the runway?
5Ks or 10Ks what’s your pick?