2015 Manassas Runway 5K Race Recap

April 28, 2015

This past Sunday BRATS hosted the Manassas Runway 10K/5K at Manassas Regional Airport.  I first learned about this race from John at Run.Geek.Run(Disney).  A race on a flat runway…sign me up please!

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.  

Packet Pickup

There were two packet pickup options:

  1. Saturday April 25, 2015 11AM -3PM (the day before the race)
  2. 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.

More planes!

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! 

Final Thoughts

  • 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?

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30 Comments
    1. Congratulations on your race and to Cliff on his race! I agree a flat out and back course like this is great for a PR but also, how many chances do you get to run on a runway?

      This looks like a great event, you can’t beat all that for $20 and it’s hard to find 5k/10k races with finisher’s medals (and a nice shirt). We have a runway race coming up here and I am thinking about doing it (no medals, though).
      Amy Lauren recently posted…Training for Summertime 5Ks (April 20-26)My Profile

      1. Run Jenny Run

        Thanks Amy! Ooh you should do it, it was pretty fun and I liked that it wasn’t too crowded. It was definitely a unique experience.

      1. Run Jenny Run

        Thanks Chaitali 🙂 I think you will like it! Hope you will get to run one eventually 🙂

    1. Great job! And to Cliff on his first. Perhaps the race addition has started burning in his heart? 😉

      I’m going to go with 10k. I’m just not fast enough at the 5k, and in good shape I’m almost the same pace for both.
      Christy recently posted…April: Blogger Men Tell AllMy Profile

      1. Run Jenny Run

        Thanks Christy! Haha I will have to ask him 🙂 I am the same way… prefer the 10Ks!

      1. Run Jenny Run

        Yes, definitely one to add to the list! A bit of a trek, but on Sunday morning it was not too bad.

      1. Run Jenny Run

        It was a pretty cool course – I hope I can fit in Dulles this fall which probably has a different feel since it is a larger airport. I agree! 5Ks are getting pricier (especially RnR ones). I hate when I see 5Ks priced higher than $30. Thanks!

      1. Run Jenny Run

        I agree… I maybe run in one or two of my tech tees (usually the long sleeved ones) and use the cotton ones for sleeping. Maybe I’ll use the other tech tees for bumming around the house.

      1. Run Jenny Run

        Thanks Sharon. Probably a fun one for kiddos too – there were some probably a couple years older than your sons 🙂

    1. Congrats on your race and congrats to Cliff for running his first 5k! I have never run on a runway before and actually didn’t even know there are races on them. Love the idea!

      When faced with picking a 5k or 10k, I’ll almost always pick the 5k!
      Sun recently posted…Ready to Race!My Profile

      1. Run Jenny Run

        That would be neat if Milwaukee airport had one! Thanks for the kind words – I’ll pass them along.

      1. Run Jenny Run

        It was nice new activity to do together (hopefully more in the future).

      1. Run Jenny Run

        Hope you get to run it one day! It was fun 🙂

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