In a somewhat last minute move I signed up to run the Pacers Fairfax Four Miler on New Year’s Eve. I had been thinking about it for a while, but not knowing what my plans were for the evening and knowing it was a little ways away from home I held off.
Finally about a week out I decided I really wanted to end my year with a race. Ok, so not exactly, I ended the year dancing with friends in DC, but close enough.
I have done a few of Pacers races in the past: George Washington Parkway Classic and their Crystal City 5k Fridays. They are always well organized and on point, not to mention the awesome swag. The Fairfax Four Miler was no different.
I decided to do packet pick-up right before the event since it was about a 30 minute drive from my house. This was the easiest packet pick-up of my life I’m sure. Less than 5 minutes in and out which gave me plenty of time to make my way back to my car to store my amazing race swag:
My new favorite sweatshirt! It is so soft & comfy.
I was amazed at how many people came out for this race. They mentioned it was a record, I want to say over 1500 but I might be remembering wrong! Regardless it got a little crowded at the start.
Before it got packed!
It’s hard to tell from behind but the guy was wearing a tux and the lady an evening dress!
The course was also super crowded in the beginning, not to mention a bit dark. I thought Pacers did a great job of having lights out where they could and as soon as you get to the George Mason University part the course really opens up nicely. I did have one mishap in a construction zone where I stepped on some gravel wrong and rolled my ankle (yep I have been wearing a brace for it since). What cracked me up was less than 500 feet ahead there was an industrial light after the construction zone. (whoops!)
It was super fun to hear all of the race support staff and runners shouting “HAPPY NEW YEAR!” and encouraging each other. I especially loved the families that were out running together. One particular boy who couldn’t have been older than six kept correcting his dad’s running form “Dad, your shoulders are by your ears” “ok” “Dad, I’m just saying you aren’t supposed to run like that”. It was adorable and hilarious, maybe not for the dad but for me! Needless to say I was glad I ran without music or headphones for this one.
Just after I rolled my ankle. That’s my “uh oh” face.
I was pleasantly surprised by how good I felt, and how fun it was to be out doing a night race again! I haven’t done one since the Wine & Dine Half Marathon in 2013. After finishing in 45:17 which is speedy for me I got some water and headed into line for the pizza! I’m telling you between the awesome sweatshirt, the well staffed and managed logistics, the fun atmosphere, and the pizza this race was well worth the entry fee. Not to mention one of my favorite things about a new distance: guaranteed PR!
So kudos to Pacers, all the runners, volunteers, and spectators for an awesome and fun last run of 2014!
Keep it fun & fierce!
Did you run on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day? What’s your favorite piece of race swag?