Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Woodrow Wilson 1/2 marathon....a review

On October 7, my girlfriends and I ran the Woodrow Wilson Half Marathon   This is the third year that this race has been held and we were excited to try it out.  Here is my review of the race from registration to the finish line.

Registration: Easy online registration.
Updates:  As the date of the race approached received frequent updates regarding bib pick-up and day of race transportation.
Expo: Small, but compared to the last race I reviewed, 2/3 of the vendors were running related, from jewelry, sunglasses, tech shirts, running apparel, hydration and energy gels.
Race Day:  The race began in Mount Vernon where there is minimal parking and ended at the new National Harbor in Maryland. The race organizers simplified the parking issue by picking a central location, The Holiday Inn in Alexandria which is near the Hoffman Center, and provided free shuttles to transport the runners to the starting line.  Runners could have also parked at the National Harbor where free shuttles would also transport them to the start line.  There were plenty of volunteers to direct traffic into the parking lot and to direct runners to the next available shuttle.  It was a cold morning and the buses were a warm refuge.
Course:  The race is run along the Potomac River, through Mount Vernon to Old Town Alexandria and up the Woodrow Wilson Bridge, ending at the National Harbor, MD.  The course is run along the same route as the George Washington Parkway ten miler.  It was a little hilly, with some rolling hills, and some slow incline hills, but nothing that a beginning runner cannot tackle.  If the weather had been on our side, the view during our run would have been magnificent, especially when running over the bridge.
Even though it was cold and rainy the spectators and volunteers were very enthusiastic and kept our spirits up.  The water stops were at about every 3-4 miles, with plenty of water and Gatorade, and thankfully there were plenty of  Port-o-johns at the starting line and throughout the course
Finish:  Check out the medal we received at the end of the race.  The hand is a replica of a sculpture The Awakening.   Plenty of water, and Gatorade was available at the finish line with bananas and bagels to munch on.  Shuttles were waiting to take us back to our parking spot at the Hoffman Center.  My only suggestion: have signs directing runners to the shuttle location.  We followed the masses and found the shuttles, but when we asked a volunteer were were just told "over there, beyond the weeping willow".
Grade:  A.  From registration to the finish line....no complaints!  Looking forward to next years race.  Keeping my fingers crossed for a cool day with sunny skies.