2015 Firecracker 5k Recap

Just like Preston and I have for the past two years, we kicked off 4th of July by running the Firecracker 5k, which is sponsored by Potomac River Running, a local running store chain.  And just like in years past, packet pickup was super easy.  Preston picked up our bibs on his way home from work Thursday afternoon at the Potomac River Running location at Reston Town Center, which was also the site of the race.  And like with all PRR races, packet pickup took less than five minutes to complete.

The weather in the days leading up to the race hadn’t looked promising for race day.  The chance of rain Saturday morning fluctuated each time I checked the forecast, everything from 0-100% chance of rain.  However, Preston and I decided that as long as it wasn’t a complete downpour, and as long as there wasn’t any thunder and lightning, that we’d still run the race as planned.

We had planned to arrive at the race early, partly due to parking being tight since the 2015 World Police and Fire Games were also hosted at Reston Town Center during the same weekend.  However, about five minutes after we left our house we realized that we had left our race bibs at home.  Oops!  At least we had only gotten five minutes down the road.

By the time we left the house for the second time, I realized that we were going to be tight on time.  Thankfully, we didn’t have any difficulty finding parking, and walked up to the start line of the race about ten minutes before the race started.  It wasn’t ideal, and we had missed the pre-race meetup with Team RWB, but at least we weren’t late for the start of the race.  Since it wasn’t raining before the start of the race, I opted to leave my visor in the car and run without anything to shield my face from any potential rain.  This proved to be the wrong choice.

At 8:00 sharp, the race started.  Since this was my third year running this race, I was very familiar with the course, which runs the perimeter of the town center and then weaves back into the center where the race finishes.  I knew from past experience that all of the courses turns are to the right until during the last half mile or so of the race, and I made sure to position myself accordingly both at the start line and on the course during the race.

Photo Credit: Team RWB

Photo Credit: Team RWB

Although it wasn’t raining when the race started, by the time that I reached the half mile point it had started drizzling.  And by the time I reached the first mile marker, it was raining harder.  The rain never let up for the rest of the race, which helped in combating the high humidity.  However, without anything to shield my face from the rain, I found myself constantly wiping my face with my shirt sleeve.  I was also extra cautious during the race to pay attention to the course in order to avoid puddles and any slick areas.

Photo Credit: Potomac River Running

Photo Credit: Potomac River Running

From the start, I ran/walked 4:15 minute/0:45 second intervals.  My main goal going into the race had been to get a course PR and beat last year’s finish time of 32:35 (10:29 pace).  Even with the rain I successfully accomplished that goal, and crossed the finish line in 32:15 (10:23 pace).  Given the two big differences between last year’s race and this year’s race – that it was raining this year and that I was 15 weeks pregnant for this year’s race – I’m very happy with my finish time.

post race firecracker 5k

Despite the rain, running the Firecracker 5k was once again a great way to kick off our 4th of July celebration.  It always makes me feel very patriotic to see so many runners carrying American flags during the race and to see so many people dressed in their red, white, and blue.

QOTD: What was the last race that you ran in the rain?

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59 Responses to 2015 Firecracker 5k Recap

  1. Pam says:

    I actually find running in rain not a real problem, except for the chance of slipping. Congrats on your new course PR, which is really great since you are now running for almost two! I love that you were in red white and blue to celebrate the 4th! My last race in the rain was the Boston Marathon and it was pouring rain for the last couple miles. However, the worst part was the strong headwinds for at least half of the race. Now that was not fun!

  2. I love hearing about women running races when they are pregnant. I did the same during my pregnancies. Good for you on your course PR!!!

  3. Oh that wonderful, horrible mess that was the Great Splash and Dash – I mean Wine and Dine of 2014! Hoping we definitely don’t have a replay of that disaster! it wouldn’t have been so bad if it hadn’t been freezing cold too, (at least for this Florida girl). Your race pics are totally adorbs!!

  4. Great job! I’ve read a few blog posts about this race and it sounds like a great race! A few years ago, I ran the Madison (WI) Mini marathon in the rain. The start was delayed for about 1.5 hours while we waited for the storms to pass. We did take off in the rain and ran in the rain for about 6 miles. Then the sun came out and it got hot! What a race!

  5. Girl you rocked it! Beating your time from last year…in the rain…pregnant! Congrats!!!!!!!

  6. You look so happy despite the rain – and now you can show Baby Thayer the photo and tell him/her they helped you rock it!

  7. I ran a rainy Peachtree Road Race on July 4th as well. I was not prepared for the rain, but it wound up still being a great experience 🙂

  8. Great job way to get it done even in the rain!

  9. Karen :0) says:

    Oh no! So sorry about the rain and lack of visor! That would have made me crazy! lol Great job and congrats on the PR, especially under the circumstances of rain!!

  10. Lesley says:

    I’ve been lucky with my races and haven’t done any in the rain, but school sports was different. I’d be soaked after some games, and it wouldn’t be warm rain either.

  11. Jamie says:

    Running in the rain can be super tough! I ran Boston this past year and it POURED the entire time. It was very mentally challenging. Congrats on a PR! Hope you have a fabulous day!

  12. I’m a TeamRWB member as well!! I ran an 8K on July 4th and had a great team photo with my RWB group. I haven’t run a race in the rain (yet) but I have had training runs that were wet!

  13. Chaitali says:

    Great job beating last year’s time! The rain without a visor had to have been hard. I think the Rock and Roll Half was the last time I ran in the rain and I’m hoping to keep avoiding it 🙂

  14. Hooray for the course PR! A little rain can’t stop us runners haha. I actually don’t think I’ve never run a race in the rain, but I’ve certainly trained in all sorts of conditions, including tons of snow!

  15. bisto84 says:

    Great job!! And 15 months prego too. The last one I think I ran in the rain was SLC 1/2 and it was sooo cold that my muscles were cramping up. But I still think I’d rather it than heat racing.

  16. ilkasblog says:

    Great running time, especially for being pregnant. That was not easy. I’m not one those runners who likes running in the rain. I had to run my first Marathon, Long Island, NY in the pouring rain. It was awful, but I was still hooked!
    Congrats on your pregnancy! 🙂

  17. cassi9879b says:

    I’ve walked two 5Ks this year and it didn’t rain until after the color one was over.

  18. I love this race and was really bummed that I couldn’t run it this year. The last race I ran in the rain was Rock N Roll DC…uggh.

  19. carmyy says:

    My last race in the rain was the Nike 15K. It was such a pain because parts of the route was on grass/dirt. Quite slippery!

  20. It was great seeing you at the race! Wish I’d known you were pregnant so I could have congratulated you and your husband in person. PRR got such a great finish line photo of you! That’s a keeper for sure.

  21. jillconyers says:

    Congrats on the great finish and crushing your goal!

  22. Great job! Your mid-race and run photo turned otu great. 🙂

  23. Congrats on meeting your goal, especially with the little one on board AND in the rain. That’s awesome! The rain held out for my 4th of July race, fortunately. I love your race photo. You look GREAT, BTW!:)

  24. Congratulations on meeting your goal and your PR!!!

  25. you look so happy even in the rain! Rain doesn’t seem to bother me as it is usually cooler but I am always worried about slipping and puddles. the last race I did in the rain was Wine and Dine last year and that pretty crazy-somehow I ran the whole thing in a poncho!!

  26. Jennifer says:

    Congrats on the course PR! Looks like another great event despite the rain.

  27. Congrats on the PR and your baby on the way!
    Amy @ http://www.livinglifetruth.com/

  28. eliz frank says:

    Congratulations on completing your race and beating your own time… It looked like a fun event despite the rains…

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