Sep 26, 2017

Clarendon Day Run Review | BibRavePro

Disclaimer: I received entry into the Clarendon Day Run to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro, and check out to review find and write race reviews!

I love to run new races. It’s fun to travel, but also fun to find new races in your own area. Living in northern Virginia offers up a plethora of races, so there’s always somewhere new to run. My latest races were just that: something new and challenging. This past Sunday I ran the Clarendon Day Run Double Dash.

The Clarendon Day Run offers up two main races, a 5K and a 10K, and in a kids race. Often, you might see a race with both 5K and 10K distances, but often it’s a choice of one or the other. In Clarendon, that is not the case. You can run them both, get a special challenge medal, and we’ll even throw in a mile and half uphill transfer between the end of the 5K and start of the 10K. 😉

The Expo Pre-Race

I usually like to start off my race reviews talking about the expo. Well, this is just a local race, so there was no expo to be had. There was packet pickup in the days leading up to the race, but also on race morning. Pick up closed 15 minutes before the start of each races. I arrive just after 7, with the first race starting at 8 am. I found street parking a block and a half away from the start line (nice and easy and FREE on Sundays). Pickup was a breeze. I walked right up, got my bib then went down to the next table for my shirt. The shirt was a nice soft tech shirt and orange, which is great because everyone knows #orangeisthenewfast. Though it did make it slightly more difficult than normal to find my fellow BibRavePro Katie with all the extra orange around. As the race got closer, the line got a little longer, but always seemed to be moving. One of the biggest draw backs was due to all the work on the metro lately in DC, there were no early hours, so if you rand the 5K you had to drive as trains weren’t running yet. The pre-race bathroom line was getting a little long at times, so they might have benefited from a few more port-o-pots, but the line moved fast enough to be ready come race time.

Race Time - 5K

The race course was a nice downhill course starting in the Clarendon neighborhood of Arlington. It winds through Courthouse into Rosslyn before moving out onto a closed portion of the highway. Running through the city was nice and no, not just because it was downhill. You had a lot to see and the sounds of the city (yes, I mean jackhammers at one point). The highway portion would be an out and back portion, as the course ended in Rosslyn. We ran on the 110, so you could see the Netherlands Carillon (which I highly recommend you hear play) and we went by the edge of Arlington National cemetery before looping back. The 5K finished well, just over 40 minutes at an official time of 40:19. After grabbing a banana and bottle of water, we found out we got all our medals after the 10K (which made sense). All in all, we had about 17 minutes to make it back up the hill, which should be no problem to go a mile in that time (we thought it was only a mile).

Hill Transfer

As I mentioned, we had about 17 minutes to make it up the hill, so we started a brisk pace walking up the hill, but noticed a lot of other people around us with no medals, so assumed they were all making their way to the second race so we felt in good company. The problem was, on the way up the hill we saw the mile 1 marker, and quickly realized we the finish line was not “just about a mile” as we thought. As we got closer, there was suddenly a flood of a lot of racers coming towards us. Crap. So we put it into a jog because we knew we weren’t where we needed to be. When we reached the start line, thankfully it wasn’t closed off, closed down, or in any way “you’re too late”, so we crossed the line and started our second race 8 minutes behind. I wanted to give everyone else a lead to feel good.

Race Time - 10K

The 10K course followed the same exact path of the 5K, down through Courthouse and Rosslyn then onto the 110. The only difference was that the out and back portion went out further before coming back. The city portion again was the nicest and we took advantage of the downhill portions to try and gain a little time up front. Between being tired after running back to the start and starting late, we wanted to try and gain some back while the course was giving us the advantage. The temperature was starting to rise now and the sun was feeling a little hot. I didn’t look closely at the map, but knew the course allowed us to go out to the Pentagon, so I was happy when we reached it. Unfortunately, the Pentagon is quite large, so we saw it for quite a while. The added difficulty of the highway portion was that the sun got very hot very quick (upper 80s), more so than expected. That was very draining on the second race. I had been well stocked with my Orange Mud HydraQuiver Double Barrel filled with Nuun. As the race went on, I filled up boy ottles with more water and then proceeded to dump a cup (or two later on) on my head to help cool down. It worked well with my BUFF UV Multifunctional Headband (that’s a mouthful) to keep cool and the sun off my head. Unfortunately, I didn’t think through the two races as the combined distance and instead as the individual pieces, so I wasn’t prepared in the fuel department. Coupled with the heat and liquid only (minus 1 banana on the hill and 1 GU pack) my stomach was sloshing and I was energy depleted.

Now we get to a slightly unfortunate part of our journey. Towards the very end, we new we were near the back but had seen some people behind us on the out and back. Then we saw the first cart carrying people from the back of the pack. Then, a course marshall on a bike was next to us and we could hear him talking about number of people on the course and where, so we knew we were in danger. He gave us the low down, that we had to make it back to the city before that cart grabbed the people behind us and then came back for us. He also said they had to open up in 6 minutes. It seemed a stretch but doable. Then the police SUV picked up the group behind us and asked us for a ride, and we said we wanted to keep running as long as we were allowed so asked if we had to get in. We did not, but 1 minute later the cart was back to pick us up. *sigh* we were “swept”. So they drove us up to essentially the end of the highway so that we were back on county property they said which they were allowed to keep open. From looking at my tracking, my guess was right, and we only got pulled for a quarter of a mile exactly. I can’t help but have fleeting thoughts of “if you gave us the 6 minutes you said” or “if we had just been back to the start with those extra 8 minutes” but the reality is in running and in life, you need to just keep moving forward, and we did.

We finished out as strong as we could from there and crossed the finish line, to an official time of 1:32:18. The best part is there were still a couple of people in that little section of the city cheering us on.

Overall, my total time was officially 2:12:37 for the Double Dash. That also happen to be 1 second faster than my BibRavePro counterpart, sorry Katie. 😜

Post Race

The second best part after there still being cheering was that being at the back of the pack, they had not run out of food, so I got one of everything, including 3 kinds of jerky. There were still people on hand giving out medals. If you know me, I love my bling and especially like special challenge medals. These did not disappoint as we got one race medal and then the double dash medal, which was interlocking! That’s a keeper. I mean, all medals are “keepers” to me, but you know what I mean.

That was really it for post race. They had a booth giving massages, some food tables and some samples and that was it. I had a beer ticket on my bib, but I wasn’t really sure where to use it, and frankly didn’t care to figure it out as I had yet another mile and half back up the hill. We could have taken the metro, but they were only running trains every 24 minutes and didn’t want to have to wait, though at our slow pace, it might have been work it. In the end, I actually tracked all portions (runs and walks) and put in 12.59 miles. I think I can call that worthy training ahead of Rock ’n’ Roll Brooklyn Half Marathon, right?

Final Thoughts

I had a good time doing both of these races. It was great to run with my fellow BibRavePro Katie. Frankly, having her there made it much easier to push back up that hill and start round two. I would have been very tempted to call it at one and done, if I’m being honest. I could have trained a little more for the combined distance, and learned my lesson to total everything together when I’m planning what I think I’ll need. If I had thought it through, I would have been better prepared, because I know what my body needs at those mileages. Being a slower runner can be rough at times, especially for things like this, but I’m me and I’m going to keep being me. I survived, I finished (with a tiny involuntary boost), and I enjoyed myself. I would definitely recommend running the 5K, 10K, or the Double Dash to anyone in the area. It’s a fun little course, nicely downhill (so long as you ignore the 5K to 10K reset), and was very well run with friendly nice volunteers.

Check out my reviews on for the 5K and the 10K. Then, be sure to write review or any race you've run, to help your fellow runners!