We lucked out with the weather for the 20th running of the Women’s Half Marathon, though it sure didn’t feel like it during the race. The stifling humidity runners experienced in the woods gave way to a powerful wind and rain storm a few hours after the race, knocking out power in the D.C. metro region and beyond. We’re grateful we had a calm, sunny morning for running.
Finishing in 1:37:57, Martha Nelson defended her title and came within 19 seconds of her course record set in 2009. Behind her were more than 200 women enjoying the dry trails and the support of the VHTRC’s huge volunteer contingent. The race’s famous “stuffed animals” made a comeback as mid-pack runners jumped at the chance to carry one back to the finish line for a small prize. The now infamous plush cheeseburger hat and a few silly vests crossed the line, too.
For the first time, runners and volunteers enjoyed cold smoothies at the finish line — a nice cap to the day that began with an old tradition, the VHTRC men’s chorus crooning “Happy Trails” before the race.
It was a good time out at Fountainhead Regional Park, and we look forward to hosting another great race next year.