The Nike Women’s Half DC has been hands down, one of my favorite races two years in a row. Yes, there are Tiffany necklaces. Yes, there are guys in tuxes. Yes, Nike is swagalicious.
But honestly, it’s a fabulous race of 15,000 awesome women during springtime in our nation’s capital that makes this race worth running. By far, this flat, cherry blossom and national landmark filled course is worth every penny and every mile travelled to attend.
I’ve run 17+ half marathons all over the country, but thus far, this is one of the most enjoyable races I’ve run. The Nike Women’s Half D.C. is well organized (for the most part) despite it’s size of 15,000 women, I didn’t feel as claustrophobic in our corrals or on the course. Additionally, unlike the Disney races (sorry Disney!) you don’t have to wake up at 2:30 in the morning, then bus over, then wait an hour in your start corrals.
Of course, there are a few things about the race I’d like to see changed. Last year, I was unable to move up my start corral from 11:30 to the 10:30 pace group. The estimated pace you register with, is the time you’re stuck with- even if you train and improve and have proof of time from another half marathon. Additionally, this year, instead of offering finisher’s shirts at the end, you were given a regular race shirt, which is fine- but they only allowed for exchanges on the last day, in the evening, after the expo had closed.
So basically, whatever you register with for the Nike Women’s Half Marathon, whether your pace and your tshirt size, well, you’re stuck with. Most of the hotels are nowhere near the expo, so I am not sure how many folks would come back for a second time just to exchange a shirt.
The course is 13.1 miles of cherry blossoms, even-keel asphalt (albeit a few inclines), national landmarks, waterside views, tribal drummers and plenty of spectators. Registration varies based on whether you’re a student, lottery runner or charity runner for Team In Training- but it’s worth it.
I ran with my friend Laura, who is one of my bridesmaids and a great running buddy (maybe it’s because she proudly serves in the Army and knows how to kick tush) but really, an amazing cheerleader who kept me going. At times, I needed to walk, she was able to adjust to my pace like a champ since well, I’m still not Army-strong like she is, but I try and keep up!
My first three miles were around 10:30 with her support and I’m very happy that I improved from last year’s time. Boom.
I love this race, I want to run it again next year. The Nike Women’s Half D.C. is by far one of my favorite races and a great racecation with a gorgeous location, a perfect time of year and a solidly organized race (despite some serious backups at the finisher’s chute this year) which makes it a must-run for every runner’s dream list.
I had a few people tell me that they want to run for Tiffany but don’t think they can do it. You can. If I can, you can. I run/walk/run and over time, I improve. This is a great race to go for without feeling intimidated- women of all fitness levels complete this race and the vibe is more positive than competitive. You can make it happen, this race is really a great one for any runner… so if you’re thinking about it, as Nike would say, “Just Do It!”