2014 Pacers’ St. Patrick’s Day 8K Race Recap

March 10, 2014

Happy (early) St. Patrick’s Day! This past weekend I ran Pacers’ St. Patrick’s Day 8K.


Logo: Pacers 

I originally did not have this race in my 2014 schedule, but when my friend Jenn forwarded a $5 discount, I thought – why not? This 8K is one of those DC favorites that I had yet to run, plus the start is a little under 2 miles from my apartment.

Packet Pickup

Like the SOME Trot for Hunger 5K (and other races), Pacers offered packet pickup at their Clarendon and Logan Circle locations.  You could also pickup your packet on race morning. 


In addition to your bib, you received a t-shirt (not technical, but so soft). 

Race Goals (“A” least probable and “C” most probable)

The last time I ran an 8K (4.97 miles) was in 2006.

  • A – Break 0:57:00 (sub 11.5 min/miles)
  • B – Break 1:00:00 (sub 12 min/miles)
  • C – Break 1:04:39 (my Kensington 8K time in 2006!)

The day before the race I had a nice 9 mile run and my legs were feeling great! I was not too worried about the 8K.

St. Patrick’s Day 8K

I got up at 7:30am race morning and was planning on meeting my friend Jenn at Freedom Plaza in an hour.  The weather was 30-40 degrees – I wore my capris, green tank top, thin long sleeved shirt, vest, headband, and gloves.  As a warm up I walked to the start area from my apartment. 


View from Freedom Plaza.


President Woodrow Wilson also made an appearance, on behalf of the Wilson Bridge Half Marathon (which I recommend)!


The course takes “runners through the streets of downtown Washington, DC, to the U.S. Capitol, past museums, and across the National Mall.” (see course map above). I did study the map ahead of the race to see how it differed from the Turkey Trot, this proved beneficial for me later in the race.


The 8K had approximately 4,000 runners.  I encountered some weaving in and out at the beginning of the race, but I thought the course was really spacious.  There were water stops at the 2 and 4 mile marks (where you pass the same spot again).  Below were my splits:

  • Mile 1 – 11:30min (perfect Jen, not too fast)
  • Mile 2 – 10:09min (uh, oh…)
  • Mile 3 – 11:11min (back on track)
  • Mile 4 – 11:09min
  • Mile 5 – 10:19min (negative split!!)

The last mile took you down Pennsylvania Avenue.  From a distance it looks like you run straight to the finish line, but after studying the map I knew there was a turn before the finish (so I made sure I did not expend my energy as if it was a straight away). 

I finished with a time of 54:18!! Besting my A goal, and a PR of over 10 minutes! I was ecstatic and my legs still felt great after the race.  My cool infographic below:


Final Thoughts

  • Fun and festive race – so much green!
  • Another well managed event by Pacers, plus I like the flexibility of their packet pickup (day of registration is available)
  • $35 registration fee, and I ended up with $5 off
  • In addition to the 8K, there was a Lil’ Leprechaun Leap (1/2 mile race) for the kiddos
  • The beneficiary for this race was Habitat for Humanity of Washington D.C, it is always nice when your fees go to a good cause
  • Bottled water, bananas, bagels, and granola bars available post race
  • There was a photo booth available post race, but I did not have a chance to check it out
  • This year, Shake Shack Dupont Circle gave all registered participants a free frosty beverage (I did not partake)
  • Flat and fast course – a nice short run ahead of next week’s RNR USA Half Marathon, and you get to run past the U.S Capitol!

Sorry, forgot to take a picture of my post run food!

Did you run/have you ever run a St. Patrick’s Day race?

Have you run an 8K before? Do you like that distance?

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