Went to the Dover Air Force Base this morning for their HM. Alas, it wasn't a good day. Think I pulled a hamstring. Never felt pain like this before (a pinching pain in the back of my thigh) but that's my guess. Can't figure out why since I had done a gentle warmup and stretches, and it was only after a mile and a half into the race, and I wasn't pushing my pace plus it was a ridiculously flat course. I tried some massage, then stretching, shortening my stride, and then finally walking - but even that was painful. So after walking a few miles hoping the pain would subside, I finally gave up at the four mile mark. Final insult was having to turn around and walk the same four miles back to the finish.
But objectively speaking, the race was pretty good. Looked to be 300 to 400 people. I opted for race-day registration since it was only $35. We started from an Air Force museum which was spartan but otherwise nice. The course was kinda boring as I hobbled past one building after another, each with an obscure military abbreviation that left me baffled. But the area where caskets are brought in from overseas was very clearly labeled. Sobering to see that. The finishing stretch was surrounded by lots of enormous aircraft and had runners finishing underneath several immense airplanes.
The weather was on the hot side (70F at race start) and in the mid-80s by the time I got back. 90F by the 3 hour mark. Never saw so many people walking a final mile before - and this one was flat! So no one paid any attention to me walking as well. But I took my bib off and skipped the finish line. I was tempted to return my shirt premium as well but another runner had earlier swapped sizes with me (we had both done race-day reg so they were out of most of the sizes) so I didn't want to let her good deed go to waste.
Assuming I figure out what stupid thing I did to injure myself, I will definitely consider this HM again next year!
Thanks for your description of Cherry Point HM. I like the idea that the airmen might cheer us on. And you may be right about crossing Delaware, too. (Usually, I'm tolled to death by crossing DE via 95. Crossing W to E for a change should be more enjoyable.) And with only 100 finishers, tracking people manually is easy so no chip timing is just fine.
I checked out the Dover visitor's guide and it looks painfully barren. But there's a museum at the AFB base which will be open after the race so I'll get to check that out. Destination race!
I haven't done either race. I have run in Annapolis andyou are correct it is nice, but having to go into Annapolis for packet pickup ... that's just plain rude. I hate the traffic in 'nap'lis. Yuck.And I would boycott any "women's" race even if I am allowed to run just on the principle that we fought the battle of the sexes to get rid of segregation in those things where it doesn't matter. If Boyz Clubs/No Girls aloud is bad, so are Gurlz Only/No Stinky Boiz Keep Out.
AND is costs US$105.
I ran in the MCAS Cherry Point HM in March. Similar situation. It's the base Morale Welfare and Recreation (MWR) Office running it. The funds went to a good cause for the families of the Marines who were away. That race was not chip timed but was otherwise well run. It too was flat and kind of boring, but when we ran through the family housing areas, people were out to cheer us.
And I set a PR by over 4 minutes.
Of course that was running with young Marines. You'll be running with young Airmen. Hehehe. Not really the same. I say that as an old ex-Airman.
So. Being a cheap grumpy old man, I would hands down run in Delaware. Besides, it's more of a road trip and you get to cross delaware of your list if you haven't already.
Start by doing what is necessary, then do what is possible and suddenly you will be doing the impossible -- St Francis of Assisi
This week, I'm looking at races in June. I know - it's late but I've never felt confident of signing up for a race 3 to 6 months in the future. Coincidentally, there are two HMs here in the DC area - both on the same day, June 2 - and both still registering people.
- Dover Air Force Base Heritage HM - Zooma Annapolis Women's HM
I haven't done either so I'm curious if anyone has.
My thoughts so far are leaning toward Dover simply because it's 1/3 the cost of Zooma. But ...
Zooma does sound nicer in some ways: Annapolis is very scenic, has challenging hills, and the race size is ideal (about 1000 runners). Dover sounds flat, boring (run around an Air Force Base?), and it's an out-and-back (double boring).
On the other hand, Dover sounds infinitely casual (cheap race-day registration) so I can wait until the last minute to commit and not pay any penalty whereas Zooma has no race-day reg and no race-day packet pickup meaning I'd have to schlep to Annapolis twice. Dover is so cheap that I could just think of it as a training run where I'm paying for water stops!
Oh, one curious thing - Zooma is literally called "Women's HM" but allows men to sign up. Last year, about 10% of finishers were men. Very weird.
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