Race Recap: GW Parkway Classic
On April 28th I ran the GW Parkway Classic. Since moving to Alexandria in July, I had my eye on this race. I had heard that it was one of the most scenic and beautiful local races. The biggest selling point for me was the fact that this race started 7.2 miles from my house.
Packet Pickup was available the entire week before the race at the Pacers in Alexandria, which happens to be just down the street from where I work. so, I walked over during my lunch break on Wednesday. So easy!
Race morning I woke up and didn’t head to the start until 7:20AM for an 8AM start. I loved being able to sleep in a bit later. The hubby was kind enough to offer to drop me off and pick me up for this point-to-point race.
The race itself starts at the entrance to Mt. Vernon. Pacers even had George and Martha Washington on site taking photos. It was a fun race vibe. Since I was there a bit early (even after sitting in the car for 15 minutes), I decided to stretch. The weather was slated to be in the upper 60s and sunny, which for most people is fine. However, I am always warm when running and cold when not. So, I started the race in a throwaway, which I promptly shed the moment we started moving toward the start. This smaller race has no corrals, just self assigned waves.
Let me begin with the course… it was beautiful. Almost the entire race is run on the George Washington Parkway. The GW Parkway is a very scenic highway that parallels the Potomac River. The Mt. Vernon Trail also parallels this highway is my favorite place to run in DC. The first 8 miles are gently rolling hills. No really, they were gently rolling. It was equally shady and in sun, so there were nice reprieves from the sun. Pacers had set up photo opps for runners to pop in a get a FREE photo taken.
After Mile 8, the trees begin to part and I begin to see National Harbor across the Potomac as I steadily make our way into Old Town Alexandria. Once in Old Town we come in thru N. Washington Street and make a right towards the water at the Balducci’s. Crowd Support is amazing from here through the end of the race. There are people everywhere! From here, there is less than 1 mile to the finish. We along the closest street to the Potomac and pass through the historic Old Town Waterfront area. I love this cause I’m here everyday, it’s nice to be able to run in areas that are familiar.
I sprinted into the chute and was overall very happy with the race. It’s very well run, especially for a local race. It was absolutely beautiful. I pushed myself, but not too much. Race entry included a tech tee, medal, and post race snacks. Who doesn’t love the Pacer’s box of goodies they give out at every race?!?
What’s your favorite local race? Are you a fan or quiet scenic races or louder race atmospheres?