What’s this? A super quick turnaround on my ZOOMA Annapolis race recap? Why yes, yes it is. I’m all pumped up from my weekend and was eager to type it up. It was my second year as a ZOOMA Annapolis Ambassador, and the race experience did not disappoint. I love the ZOOMA race series – scenic locations, the emphasis on a female runner – it’s a treat for me to be a part of it.
Friday – Travel to Annapolis & Packet Pickup
I took a couple hours off work on Friday to drive to Annapolis before the DC rush hour traffic started. It was worth it – I was relaxed and felt like I was really going on a racecation! I was staying a couple of exits away from the downtown area at the Courtyard Marriott, and had big ideas for what I could do that afternoon before dinner – go for a run, find a pool to swim in, explore downtown – lots of ideas!
Instead I did none of those things – I fell asleep in my hotel room! I never nap, so this totally threw me off. Considering I had overslept my swim workout that morning, my body must have been telling me I needed the extra rest after being sick last week. I got to the Loews Annapolis Hotel just in time to pick up my packet, explore the expo a little, and meet the other Ambassadors for dinner at 7pm.
The Expo is in a hotel ballroom and has a small but nice selection of vendors. You can get running essentials, cute apparel, ZOOMA Annapolis memorabilia, and other items when you get your packet.
I checked out the course map to see how the 10K course differs from the half marathon course that I did last year.
I perused the cute ZOOMA shirts they were selling. I bought one at the finish line the next day, but it wasn’t this one. Although I loved this Annapolis shirt, being a Maryland girl!
The Ambassadors that were available on Friday evening met for dinner with Kelly from ZOOMA, and Creigh Kelley, the race announcer who has been announcing running races and triathlons for many, many years. It was so fun to get to know everyone and to hear stories from Creigh!
After dinner, I went back to the hotel and got myself organized to make an easy race morning. I checked out the great ZOOMA swag bag – Feetures socks, a journal, a great shirt (that I’ve already christened with sweat) – all in a reusable ZOOMA bag.
I got my race outfit ready – I couldn’t decide between the ZOOMA tank top they gave Ambassadors, or my SOAS Racing run tank. I felt as though the ZOOMA tank was a little tight but wanted to try it on again in the morning and decide since I was a bit stuffed from dinner.
The flat runner exercise is not only fun for Instagram, but for making sure I don’t forget anything on race day!
I then had a lot of trouble getting to sleep. Perhaps that late afternoon nap screwed me up! I honestly can’t tell you the last time I took a nap when I wasn’t sick – during one of my pregnancies? So I stayed up way too late, lying in the hotel bed watching Netflix, worried I’d have issues getting up for the race at 5:45am.
Saturday – ZOOMA Annapolis Race Day!
Unfortunately I not only had issues getting to sleep, but staying asleep. I woke up at 5am thinking it was morning, but alas, I had another 45 minutes to sleep. So I fell back to sleep and woke up with my second alarm – at 6:00am.
Yikes. I was pretty tired.
I knew the race was only 7 minutes away, all my things were sitting out ready, and that I’d have plenty of time to get there in time for the start, but I wanted to join in a Moms Run This Town photo at 6:30am so I hustled out of there.
I didn’t make it.
I drove to the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium and was happy there wasn’t any traffic getting into the race site, but it did take a few minutes to park in the lot. I can’t complain, the parking is right at the start. It’s truly awesome to park right in the starting area for a race! It just took a minute for them to direct us to spots.
I parked and ran over to the plane where we were meeting, just as the MRTT group was walking away. I did catch my two chapter member friends an took a pic with them!
With Lauri and Tamieka
Then we took a ZOOMA Ambassador picture at 6:40am. We didn’t have everyone there, but we were glad to connect on race morning!
I walked around checking out the race area, and thought about using the portapotty. The line was pretty crazy so I decided to skip it. This is at about 7 minutes until race start. Yikes!
The only problem with the portapotty location is that it’s the opposite end of the entrance to the corrals.
I was walking towards the starting line but the corral lines were full and there was no way to jump in at the 9-ish minute pace area. There were signs for the various paces, but not specific corrals. I like this because you can move to where you need to be and run with friends, without an assigned corral, but it was really hard to get to my pace area once the corral filled up.
I fought my way upstream after seeing a 2:00 pacer go through the crowded corral with her pace sign, and just stuck to her heels. I ended up right where I wanted to be.
I shouldn’t have worried so much – it was chip timed and there was the opportunity to get by people pretty easily once the race started since we run around the stadium to start the course and there’s room on the course.
I stepped out of the crowd for a second to fix my race bib – my hand had caught it and a safety pin came out. The tank top has holes in it – I assume for ventilation, but it didn’t work well for pinning a bib.
The race was crowded but not so jam packed that you couldn’t run – it felt just right!
The course goes through downtown Annapolis and is really stunning. What a pretty city. I tried to run at my desired 8:50-9:00/mile pace, but it just wasn’t happening. I then tried to stick to a 9:20 pace, which worked out for a lot of the race.
I used to run with a great little point-and-shoot camera, which is how I was able to snap so many great race photos. Because I have a larger phone now, I forego the camera but it results in race photos like this:
I love Annapolis – it’s SO pretty, and running through it on a gorgeous Saturday morning is such a treat!
As the race went on, my coughing increased. I started to have issues breathing. My cough just won’t quit, and with the heat and humidity, it really affected me. Plus, I hadn’t slept very much.
I slowed down and decided to just enjoy the run, the experience of the race. I wasn’t there to kill myself for a great time two weeks before a half Ironman.
Someone had told me that the 10K course didn’t go over the famous bridge, and I was sad that I wouldn’t get my bridge selfie like in 2014 when I did the half marathon. To my surprise (because I didn’t notice this on the course map), we did go over the bridge! We just stopped at the midway point for the 10K turn around and ran back down.
Upon which time, I took my bridge selfie!
And snapped a bonus pic of the bridge since it’s such a gorgeous view.
After the bridge turnaround, I knew that the race was pretty much almost over. I liked that the turnaround wasn’t at the midway, you are more than halfway there at that point! It’s less scenic in this last segment getting back to the stadium, but I started to get excited about the finish line. And with one little tiny hill to push through, I was there!
Yo, free race photos – what can beat that?
And then just like that, I was a ZOOMA Annapolis 10K Finisher!
The medals for the half marathon were gorgeous. I really wanted one but was happy I did the 10K and stayed focused on my big triathlon in two weeks.
I took a deep breath, and thought WOW – it’s done! After doing two half marathons this spring, a 10K felt really refreshing. Time to explore the finish before it gets crowded with half marathon finishers!
You know you’re in Maryland when…
…they serve Crab Chips at the finish alongside the requisite bananas.
The finish area had booths with apparel and other fun stuff. They had recovery yoga but I didn’t end up staying for it.
The official charity partner is Team in Training. It was great to see TnT runners and coaches out there!
I had forgotten that ZOOMA gives you a snack box of food at the finish! Not only were there bananas, Maryland crab chips, and water at the finish line, but you got a choice of chicken salad or hummus at the finish area with the ticket from your bib.
Okay, ZOOMA has wine at the finish. It’s a cool idea but I had declared before the race that there was no way I would drink wine at 8 in the morning. But then I finished my 10K, found myself in the wine area, and saw this guy’s happy face!
I had a few sips of something sweet and bubbly, and it was great! It made me feel decadent, like this racecation was an experience more than a race.
I was so happy to be done with the 10K, but I still had to do a 2 mile recovery run. Hot, hot hot!
I ran a slow recovery for 2 miles on the path around the perimeter of the stadium and out in neighborhoods. I had dropped my medal off in my car, but I still had my bib on so people gave me strange looks. They either thought “why is that girl still running?” or “I think she lost the course!” or both!
I wanted to stick around to cheer on friends and other Ambassadors running the half marathon, but I really wanted to get back to my hotel, shower, and get home at a reasonable time to get started on the day of family stuff like soccer games and house projects. I couldn’t believe it when I was back at my hotel about the same time I would have been finishing the half marathon! It was so surreal.
FINISH TIME: My watch said my finish time was 59:42 with an average pace of 9:35/mile. The official results have me at 1:00:03 for an average pace of 9:40/mile. I think my watch auto-paused when I stepped off the course to fix my bib when the safety pin came out. I didn’t really lose time doing the bridge selfie, it took about a second and I ran faster down the bridge after that with a big smile!
SPLITS: Considering I just ran the Columbia Half Marathon at a nice, 8:49/mile pace, I was kind of disappointed to be at my “old pace” than my “current pace”, but I wasn’t here to PR. I was here to experience ZOOMA Annapolis and enjoy myself, and have a strong race in the heat/humidity as I prepare for Ironman 70.3 Eagleman. I did all those three things.
- Mile 1: 9:41/mile
- Mile 2: 9:10/mile
- Mile 3: 9:28/mile
- Mile 4: 9:27/mile
- Mile 5: 10:00/mile (the bridge had some elevation, ya know?)
- Mile 6: 9:38/mile
- (and 0.2: 9:31/mile)
OVERALL: The ZOOMA Annapolis 10K was fantastic and I am putting ZOOMA 2016 on my calendar for next year. I love the spirit, the atmosphere, the camaraderie of running with so many women, and how scenic the course is – it’s a great race! The organizers can’t control the heat and humidity, but it’s such a fun time that it’s worth it!
Have you ever done a 10K?
What’s your favorite race distance?
FOr last year’s ZOOMA Annapolis half marathon recap, click HERE. If you’re interested in more race recaps of ZOOMA Annapolis, check out the linkup below! And remember that ZOOMA has races in other awesome locations – check them out!