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Race Report: Battle of the Boulevard 10K

May 14, 2008

The 2nd annual Battle of the Boulevard was this past Saturday…yes the rainy Saturday.

A local race starting in Clarendon, heading due north down Wilson Boulevard, through Courthouse, Rosslyn and down Rt. 110 and back to Clarendon. Back the same way you came, that is, uphill. So 3.1 miles downhill and 3.1 miles up. To be fair things level off a bit when you get to 110 so I guess that counts as a rest? But it’s a good race; cheap, nearby, quick, fun, and you get a good t-shirt. Well last year it was all of those things. This year, not so much…

Cheap? Yes. Still just a $25 entry fee. For a field of 2,000 runners, that’s pretty good, usually the bigger the race, the more expensive it is. Plus considering the t-shirt this fee makes things practically even.

Nearby? Yes. Well, nearby to me. If it hadn’t been raining I would have walked to the start. Preferring to start the race dry, I drove in and huddled under an awning at the Pacers store until the gun went off.

Quick? Yes. Running marathons and half-marathons has changed my perception of what constitutes long. 6.2 miles is an hour long at my pace (well 59 minutes 46 seconds this year!) and seems really quick in the grand scheme of things.

Fun? Meh. The race boasted some stellar sponsors (Lucky Brand Jeans, Whole Foods, to name a couple) as well as a post-race party. And what do the words “post-race party” mean to the average person? Food and drink and entertainment. Ok, so there was a sound stage with music. There were a plethora of bottled waters. There were tables and tables of bananas. And that’s where the party ended. Who has a race with just bananas and water as the après race food? I was on a mad hunt for granola bars, bagels, something! My plan was to eat breakfast at this thing. I finally stopped at one of the 10 banana tables and asked a Whole Foods rep if there was anything else to eat other than the yellow fruit that I am allergic to, and she said she HAD 2,000 power bars but they were long gone. GONE? I was back at the start within an hour and no carbs? What brand of idiot brings just 2,000 granola bars to feed over 2,000 people? Did I mention that there was a 2K walk, with their own set of participants, happening in conjunction with the race? Yeah. Bad move Whole Foods. I blame the race organizers too (Pacers)! Last year, Mister Days had a whole BBQ thing going, there were granola bars for days, bagels, juice, Gatorade (don’t get me started on the Gatorade this year, an hour and half after the race begins and they are out of the carb juice), plus tons of booths from area merchants and groups.

So, no breakfast to be had, I decided to stroll along the vendors to see what Arlington has to offer that I am probably missing out on, I mean the race organizers (Pacers) told me there would be a “Wellness Festival” after the race. Six or Seven tables is not what I call a Wellness Festival. All in all, post-race was totally lame. If the race got a 100 last year for being fun, this year it got a 15. Yes, it was that bad.

Good t-shirt? Kinda. It was still a Brooks technical shirt, which is like gold in the realm of race shirts. Cotton is the suck when it comes to running more than 4 miles and technical shirts are not cheap so it’s tre awesome to get one “free” with your $25 race fee. Thing is though, the design was crap. Not that last year’s shirt was a work of art, but it was in full-color. The 2007 shirt was black with a large, colorful imprint of the race graphic on the front. This year’s shirt was red (points for color), but included just white text on the front. Where is the color? Where is the art? Why just boring, ugly text? It’s obvious that the race organizers (Pacers) lost some sponsor dollars this year, either that or over spent last year’s sponsor money and toned things down to stay in budget this time around. Word to the organizers (Pacers), skip spending the money on the sound stage and get some carbs for the people!

I would be pissed, I really am a huge fan of free granola bars, but I ran 9:39 minute miles when I have done zero speed training and I wasn’t doing this race to race, but just as a training run that fit nicely in my schedule even though it was all uphill at the end. So I guess I am happy. But it had nothing to do with the race organizers (Pacers).

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Matt Boyd permalink
    May 14, 2008 3:33 pm

    Wait. Does this mean you’re allergic to yourself?

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