Army Ten Miler Race Report


Mack Trucks

Image via Wikipedia

Firstly, this was a great race!  It was well organized, well supported and was run on a great course through some of the most meaningful landmarks commemorating our country.  I was running on the Mack Trucks Military team, and we were there to raise visibility and awareness of Mack Trucks as a supplier to the US Army and other branches of the armed forces.  With that, we had one goal: to finish in a position high enough to escalate visibility of the team/account, preferably top ten.

The race event started for me on Saturday when I hopped in the car and drive 5 1/2 hours to DC from where I live.  I entertained myself the whole way by listening to the collective works of Tom Gabriel Fischer (Celtic Frost, Tryptikon for you non metal-heads).  I got to DC too late to meet my teammates for dinner outside of the city, but in enough time to have an impromptu dinner with fellow dailymile team mate Brodie Wise (http://yfrog.com/75cyqj).

Early to bed and early to rise.  Kent P and I headed down to the race area at the Pentagon on the Metro.  It took a couple of trains for us to be able to get on, and the crush of runners at the platforms looked like Toyko.   We got to the event grounds, went to the bathroom and then Kent and I split up to warm up a bit and head to our respective starting areas.  On the way up to my starting balloon arch, I hear someone say “Is that Jay Parker?”.  I turn around and it’s Brodie again, I just couldn’t shake this guy…

It was great to hang out and chat while standing in the corral.  We were up front in the group starting behind the elites, so it wasn’t too crowded.  The Achilles Athletes (wounded soldiers) started 10 minutes before the elites with a silent start, and then the color guard brought the flag out for the national anthem.  We were then treated to a fly-over by 4 helicopters and then an impressive cannon start!

Brodie and I ran together for the first half mile.  I was planning on 7:00-7:15 for the first mile due to crowds.  Brodie was talking crazy talk about running 8:15-8:30 due to injury and the upcoming MCM.  Then, he just looked at me and said “this is feeling good”, and took off.  about a quarter mile after that, I had to pee.  Stupid mistake, drank too much on the Metro.  So, I jumped behind a small bridge embankment and joined 4 other dudes with the same issue.  I only lost 10-15 seconds and then sprinted back into the stream (pun intended).

Shortly after this, I heard a piper.  What the hell?  It wasn’t decreasing in volume.  Then I saw this guy, all in American Flag gear running and playing the flute.  Apparently, he is a staple of the race, but as a first-timer, the thought of running 10 miles while playing a flute was quite impressive.

The course took us over the river and to the Lincoln Memorial.  I was feeling great and cranking it up a bit, trying to catch back up to Brodie.  We went down past the Memorial and then turned up into down toward Watergate for the first slight uphill.  I caught up to Brodie at the base of the hill, and he had slowed down a bit, saving himself for MCM and reducing the risk of re-injury.   Cresting the hill, we barreled past Watergate and downhill into a turn back toward the Kennedy Center, running underneath the cantilevered balcony there.  At this point, I passed the first of some of the injured veterans.  What an impressive effort those guys and girls are putting in.  Simply amazing and inspiring.

The course then took us up to the Washington Monument, then down the long straight of Independence Avenue. At about 5.5 miles in, the leader passed the pack coming the other way.  At that point, he had about a 30 second lead on second place.  Not knowing where the course took us, I thought: “Hell, he’s not really THAT far ahead of us”.  He was actually at 7.5 miles in, a full 2 miles up on us, but hey, who’s really counting…  At this point, we passed the Army Jazz Band, and I got a kick out of the bassist and drummer playing Rush’s YYZ.  We went down a block in front of the Capitol building and then back up Independence Avenue.  Then, we went left on 14th street, out the bridge and past the Jefferson Memorial, over the George Mason Bridge back to the finish at the Pentagon.  The last two miles were fairly tough for me, but I was boosted a bit by the guy dressed like Michael Jackson (thriller era) handing out beers to runners at mile 9.

Once I finished, I was standing in the waiting area for the rest of the team, and who came up to me?  Brodie Wise.  Out of 30000 runners, I run into the guy twice.  He’s like magic. Run with him.

I felt pretty strong at the end, though, even though the energy flagged in the last bit.  I’m looking forward to seeing how I can do at my next half-marathon based on these results.

Overall, the team came in 9th place out of 135 corporate teams, and we beat all the 4 Navistar teams!  I beat my goal by 1:10, and set a PR.  I’m looking forward to the race next year!

 

Splits:

  • 7:01 (including pee break)
  • 6:36
  • 6:44
  • 6:34
  • 6:56
  • 6:45
  • 6:47
  • 6:53
  • 7:01
  • 6:51
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  1. Jay, what steady splits and an overall impressive results! I was glad to see your performance as you really delivered a race indicative of your training this summer. Now, go beat down that half-marathon bugaboo, will you?

    • Thanks, Greg! Always a pleasure when you stop by!

  2. this brings back memories, great race report Jay.

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    you can save a lot of work, just type in google:
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