Last week I wrote all about my first postpartum race! It was the Damascus Freedom 10K and I felt so good to get a race under my belt. Today I’m sharing my thoughts on the race in a little review. I’ve done race reviews in the past for my half marathons, so I’d like to continue that with all my races, no matter how big or small.
Cost: $21 with cotton shirt option / $26 with technical shirt option. Price was the same for both the 5k and 10k.
Charities Benefitted: Wounded Warrior Project, Hero Dogs, Fisher House, USO, Disabled American Veterans
Packet Pick-Up: There was packet pick-up the day before for 6 hours, however I must have missed this on the webpage. Fortunately, packet pick-up was seamless race day morning due to the race being so small.
Timing Method: Ready… set… go… over the microphone!
Race Start Time: 9:11 am.
# of Participants: There were 53 finishers in the 10K and 132 finishers in the 5K.
T-Shirt: A cotton shirt was included in the basic registration fee. A technical shirt was available for five dollars more.
Bathrooms: Since the race was at Damascus Regional Park, there was a bathroom within the park. There were also an additional two port-a-potties set up. This seemed like enough; I even got to use the real bathroom.
Course: Ohhh, the course. Running through Damascus Regional Park was beautiful. However, what wasn’t beautiful were the hills. We exited the park at one point and ran through some neighbors, thinking we would finally get a break to go downhill before heading back up the half mile hill at the end, but unfortunately, we kept going up and up before we got the downhill portion. Then, when we did get to the downhill section, we all of a sudden were running through grass and a trail. I was just a little surprised and this would have been nice to note on the website. Running downhill but in trail terrain certainly didn’t help my time!
Water Stops: There was one water stop for the 5k-ers and two water stops for the 10k-ers (same one, you just hit it going back the other way).
Volunteers: The volunteers were lovely! There was always someone located at the junctions that could have been confusing. There was also police support crossing the roads. That was much appreciated.
Crowd Support: There was certainly a huge crowd when the race started. As a local race, it seemed like each participant’s family came as a support system. I thought the race would be finishing at the same place we started (or at least a little closer), however, the 10k finished abruptly a good quarter mile away from the festivities. I crossed the finished line with no fanfare and seconds after I did cross, John and Xander appeared around the corner. He was confused as to where we were finishing as well.
Course Entertainment: After some moments of silence to remember those fallen on 9/11 a quarter mile kids fun run took place. They were adorable! Once the 5K/10K participants took off there was also a lot of entertainment for the kids and families waiting. Included were a: bounce house, park playground, balloon creations, DJ playing music, Elvis impersonator, and a magic show! Amazing, right?
Course Photographer: I definitely saw someone taking pictures toward the end (and I certainly posed – haha), but the photos aren’t on the website yet. [Update: I visited their Facebook page and there are pictures from the race but all of the entertainment - not sure if these are from the official photographer or not.]
Postrace Food: Holy man this town went all out! There was everything a runner could possibly want (or not want, ha) post race: watermelon, bananas, nutrigrain bars, bagels with cream cheese, hot dogs, hamburgers, ice cream, water, sports drinks, and more! This was definitely the biggest post race food spread I’ve seen, especially for such a small race.
Overall Value: The overall value of this race is amazing. You are supporting amazing charities to help our veterans (the race doesn’t try to make a profit), you have beautiful scenery, entertainment for the whole family, tons of food, and an overall neighbor race feel. You can tell that everyone involved in making this race possible is genuinely happy to be helping out and supporting a cause.
Recommendation: I would definitel y run this race again! I would train for hills next time, now knowing the course, but the homey feel of this race was wonderful.
So, what do you think? Would you run this race? What’s the one thing you look for in a race when deciding whether or not to run it?