2014 Firecracker 5k Recap

Last Friday, I ran my seventh race of the year, and my second repeat race.  Just like last year, Preston and I ran the Firecracker 5k with Team RWB on the 4th of July as a way to help raise funds for the USO.  Having run this race last year, I was well aware of the course and knew that I needed to pace myself for a gradual uphill during the last portion of the course.

Just like with other Potomac River Running races, bib pickup was super easy – I think I was in and out of the PR Store in Reston in less than two minutes when I picked up our bibs last Wednesday.  There are so many benefits to PR Races, including free race photos, plenty of post race food and water, and very reasonable registration prices.  If you live in the DC area and haven’t checked out their races yet, you definitely should!

On Friday we arrived at Reston Town Center, where the race was held, about 45 minutes before the start of the race.  While driving there, it was raining on and off, and I started to think that we’d be running this race in the rain.  However, once we parked the car it stopped raining, and the humidity was temporarily under control.  We met up with fellow Team RWB members for a pre race photo and a pep talk from the DC area chapter captain, and then we headed to the start line.

The DC area chapter of Team RWB before the start of the race

Photo Credit: Potomac River Running

Because there were only about 2,500 runners and walkers, there weren’t any corrals for this race.  However, there were suggested start areas based on predicted paces, so Preston and I lined up in the 9:00-10:00 minute/mile pace area.  Although his pace is much faster than mine, he wanted to start the race with me.  While we waited for the race to start, I noticed a TLC camera, and began to wonder why TLC was at a small local race.  During the race itself I noticed TLC’s presence another two or three times, which had me intrigued as to what was going on.  I had my suspicion, and after the race I got my answer.

Before the start of the race

Before the start of the race

As the race started, I noticed that my legs felt very heavy.  I had done a lower body weight training workout two days prior, and my legs were definitely feeling it.  It took about a mile before I felt like I had finally gotten into a good groove.  By this time though, the humidity had definitely kicked into high gear, and it became increasingly difficult to breathe while running.

I made it to the water station without having to stop for a walk break, and after the water station ran again without walking until around the 2.25 mile point of the course.  During the last mile of the race I took two additional walk breaks – for one minute each – and during my second walk break I knew that it would be difficult to meet my A and B goals.

I finished the race in 32:35 (10:29 min/mile pace), which is 2.5 minutes faster than last year’s Firecracker 5k finish time!  Although I ran this race almost a minute slower than my current 5k PR, I’m more than happy with the improvement from last year’s finish time.  I also met my C goal, which was to run the race faster than I did last year.

After finishing my 7th race of 2014 and my 3rd 5k of the year

After finishing my 7th race of 2014 and my 3rd 5k of the year

Because of everything that we have going on with our new house right now, we didn’t stick around for long after we crossed the finish line.  On our way back to our apartment, fellow blogger Jennifer from Run Jenny Run posted this tweet on Twitter:

My suspicion had been correct: Josh and Anna Duggar were at Reston Town Center that morning, and Josh ran the 5k, finishing the race in 40:06.  Who knows: maybe I’ll see myself or somebody else I know on a future episode of “19 Kids and Counting.”

Photo Credit: Jennifer from Run Jenny Run

Photo Credit: Jennifer from Run Jenny Run

QOTD: Have you ever run a local race and spotted a celebrity at it?

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28 Responses to 2014 Firecracker 5k Recap

  1. christyruns says:

    Great job beating last years time, that always feels good! And you beat the celebrity 🙂

  2. Great recap! And yes! I’ve saw a few Ravens players and actors (from House of Cards) at the Brigance Brigade 5.7k earlier this year- it was super cool!

    Great time improvement! I think it’s hard to see results in the summer because the weather in the Mid-Atlantic can affect your pace a considerable amount. Bravo to you for beating last year’s time!

  3. Forgive my spelling- that should have said, “I saw a few Ravens players…” I haven’t had all my coffee yet this morning 🙂

  4. nevie b. says:

    Congrats Kathryn!!! I JUST joined Team RWB and almost did this race – your recap makes me almost wish I had, but Reston is so much farther from me than the one I did do on the 4th. Maybe see you at future Team RWB events! (I run on Wednesdays with the MoCo group 🙂 )

  5. Congrats on a great race Kathryn! I’ve always heard of celebrities being at a race but I’ve never seen them there myself. Maybe one day!

  6. yay! and i’m glad to see you and nevie connecting!! 🙂

  7. jenzenator says:

    Great race recap and congrats! Love what Team RWB stands for.

  8. Haha, I don’t watch that show but if you find out when it will air let me know. I’d like to watch. Even though you didn’t PR you still did great!

  9. Sue @ This Mama Runs For Cupcakes says:

    You know what?? I think I met your husband. I thought he looked like Mark Erwin and went up and asked if he was Mark, LOL….looking at your hubby’s pic, I think it was him!!

    • Funny you say that, because I was off getting more food and when I got back to where Preston was he said that somebody walked up and asked him if he was Mark. I shouldn’t have walked away to get a bagel! Agh! Next time, we’ll definitely have to connect in person.

  10. Jennifer says:

    Congrats on the course PR Kathryn! I can’t wait for the running episode – it will be SO funny if we see people we “know” or really know haha. I hope they did not capture me taking photos of them – thanks for the photo cred and mention 🙂 See you in Leesburg!

  11. Jason says:

    Nice race!! I’ll be on the lookout for you if I’m watching the Duggars 🙂

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