After dropping Rebecca off and wishing her well, I got parked and set out on my own little running adventure for the day, where I'd eventually be meeting up with a friend in DC to watch some of the race. So with that, I took off from Crystal City along the Mount Vernon Trail.
|DC awaits 20,000+ runners|
|Pentagon as seen from the trail - Big white building in the middle|
Pretty soon, I found my way along the Potomac for what I consider the most iconic part of the trail, with endless views of DC. About 2 miles into the run, the sun was just starting to come up over the town. And soon, I approached the Memorial Bridge, where runners would be crossing after only 1.5 miles into the race. The view to the east of DC is a great one.
After climbing a short hill to get from the trail to the bridge in order to cross it, I noticed that the famous Army paratroopers were slowly making their way down to their landing spots right at the startling line of the race. This is always my favorite pre-race event that goes on at the Army 10 Miler. Not the greatest photo, but if you click to zoom, you can see 2 of them just over the top of the tree by the car with its lights on.
Then, I quickly turned around and headed over the bridge just as the sun was rising up.
Since I still had a bunch of time to kill, I decided to extend my run a bit and headed out onto Hains Point, which is one of the key parts of the Marine Corps Marathon, only a few more weeks away. While halfway out, I could still hear the music coming from the Pentagon and caught a small glimpse of it from where I was.
|Pentagon - right in the middle between the trees and where I had been running only a few miles before|
After they passed, I made my way a mile further up the course to stand with a friend and spot Rebecca and others who were out on the course. As is expected for a race of this size, spotting people can become difficult. And since I told Rebecca exactly where we'd be, she was able to spot us! I guess when you figured that there were 20,000+ runners and probably a lot less spectators, it might be easier for the runners to spot spectators than vice versa. Unfortunately, I couldn't grab a picture of her though, so I took a field shot to give perspective on the crowding of the course, as it is pretty much a steady stream of people the whole time.
Despite our best attempts to cheer for runners along the 14th St Bridge for the last few miles of the race, we were ordered back by the police and forced to metro to the Pentagon and the finish area. But not before, I got to see the leader come through Mile 7.5 with an even bigger lead.
|If you zoom in, you can see how far back the next runner is|
|Nothing like the sight of thousands of runners climbing a hill in the last mile of a race!|
Not a bad way to spend a Sunday morning, huh?