A Race Report from Caroline Curvan
I write to you from my nation’s capital where 14 members of the Ladies’ Auxiliary of the Taconic Road Runners Club gathered to run the inaugural Nike Women’s Half Marathon.
Team leader Nancy Young pooh poohed her organizational skills, asserting that “All I did was ask people ‘You wanna come?’” But if you suggest it, they will race it, and a team of 14 Taconics beat the lottery odds to score elite status starts.
Many of the team arrived on Friday evening, and hotel hijinks were the rule of the night — photos exist of certain teammates drinking vodka through Twizzler straws. Saturday saw the rest of the team make their way down to DC via train, bus and plane. All headed over to packet pick-up and the over-hyped Nike “Expotique” which included a hair styling station courtesy of Paul Mitchell, and makeovers, sponsored by Bare Minerals. (The general Taconic consensus was that this was a bit demeaning and insulting to the serious runners present.)
A festive dinner was enjoyed by all at Carmine’s. Imagine 14 strong-minded women, all with different dietary requirements and tastes, agreeing on 4 entrees and sides. Yes, just be glad you weren’t their waiter!
Race morning dawn clear and crisp as the Capitol was kissed by sunrise and the Taconic Ladies lined up on the red carpet right by the start. The starting gun went off at exactly 7:02am and it was every woman for herself. The course was fairly flat, with a few tunnels that caused GPS failures, but no one was fazed. Sites passed included the Kennedy Center, the WWII memorial and the Lincoln, Jefferson & Washington memorials. The final stretch was back up Pennsylvania Avenue, a long, flat view all the way to the finish. The finish that never seemed to get any closer no matter how hard one was running. But at last, everyone flew through the finish chutes, and picked up their Tiffany boxed with silver necklace inside from a tuxedoe’d ROTC recruit.
In the absence of official results (which are to be posted “within a few days after the race on Facebook.com/nwm26.2”), an informal polling of the team indicates that finish times ranged from about 1:45 to 1:56. No PRs in the group, but everyone was fairly pleased nonetheless.
After a shower, the team convened to celebrate their accomplishment at Co Co Sala, a divine chocolate lounge that specializes in desserts, coffee, pastries, gelato, as well as offering a tasty Sunday brunch. Wasabi bloodies were de rigeur and hearty, picky appetites were all satisfied.
The team parted on the sidewalk, with promises to meet, as usual, as the Pumphouse on Saturday. Safe travels home, everyone!