Saturday, July 28 was the annual 10K race along the W&OD Trail sponsored by “The Friends of the W&OD” (shout-out to my friend Jay Wind). It was a festival atmosphere with several conservation and outdoors groups setting up booths for the race.
The race starts from the old Vienna train station, then pushes north on the W&OD Trail (with a brief sidetrack into the Wolf Trap neighborhood). When the Trail hits Hunter Mill Road, there’s a turnaround and another three miles coming back.
Oh yeah, and there’s pretty much no tree cover.
The day was hot (mid-90′s) but not crazy hot. There was also a decent cloud cover. With those conditions, about 700 runners, a few walkers and a couple strollers stepped off at 6:30 p.m. and began the race.
Apparently, the Town of Vienna is built on top of a mountain, because I came screaming through the first mile at 6:50. (What?) I tried to slow down but apparently momentum alone carried me through the first three miles at 21:50. No, that’s not normal.
I knew it would be a death march coming back to Vienna, and I was right. I just kept putting one foot in front of the other, and looked for the next water station. (Still looking for one at Mile 5). Although the sun was covered, you can’t discount running in 90 degree temperatures. It catches up with you, and my mile splits fell apart as I lost energy.
I walked a bit on the last mile which cost me a sub-50 time. 50:15. I’d be disappointed but that’s a decent time in that weather. For what it’s worth, I dropped about 6 pounds.
Most important, the event celebrate a key recreational resource in Fairfax County — the W&OD Trail — and the volunteers who keep it maintained.
Once again, thanks to “the Friends” for putting on a great event.