Army Run Weekend is almost here! I am running the Commander’s Challenge this year (5K + Half Marathon) and ready to have a great race on Sunday. The weather is looking amazing – but also a little chilly as well. I’m going to have to game plan clothes as there is a possibility of becoming chilled while waiting for the half marathon to start. Luckily I keep those space blankets and have lots of throw away layers if needed.
My game plan for the Commander’s Challenge is pretty simple. The 5K is a warm-up – aiming for somewhere between 31-34 minutes. Nice and easy pace that is steady – not going faster or slower. Then, I will be finding a warm spot to sit and wait for the half marathon. The half marathon will be a ‘small PB’ attempt where I plan on just going under my current 2:09 PB. The plan is to run by feel but also (hopefully) run a progressive run where each 5K will get faster. This is supposed to be a training run so I’m not planning on going all out. I have 9 Run Run a few weeks later where a bigger PB attempt is planned.
But a few new items for this year – and some favourite tips that never get old:
#1 Corrals – I say this every year and will say it again: If you are running a challenge, yes it is encouraged that you move up a bit but please, please, please stand to the back of those faster corrals if you know you are going to be way slower than the runners around you. If you are running the Commander’s Challenge, you will honestly be fine being in the 2nd corral. If you are running Ortona – the back of the blue might be fine but please don’t go to the front. I also beg you that if you plan on walking or walking up the hill in the start – please move to the back or at least to the side.
#2 Veterans, Injured Soldiers, Injured/Disabled athletes – This is a different kind of race for many reasons but at the start of the races, a group of Veterans, Injured Soldiers, injured/disabled athletes and their families will start before the rest of the runners – please ensure you are well aware that they are on the course and do not cut them off or aggressively swerve around them. Instead – cheer them on.
#3 Challenger? Plan to warm up somewhere after the first race – You may get chilled after the 5K – so ensure that you have a change of clothes or a blanket to warm up with after. Ottawa City Hall is also open for runners and is a good place to stay warm.
#4 Meet up Spots – it is busy, busy, busy at the races so ensure that you have your meet up spots figured out before hand. Pick a statue, monument, or a store/restaurant away from the crowds.
#5 Check out the Expo – The Army Run Expo is the best expo out there. Not only does the expo feature the usual vendor area – but the military brings out the tanks and other machines. There is also a super awesome area for the kids too.
#6 HAVE FUN – this is a great race. Do not forget to smile, high five and have fun with your fellow runners. I’ve always enjoyed this race as it seems like almost everyone runs it.
I hope to see you at the Races!
Disclosure: I am part of the Front Runners Ambassador Team and did receive a complimentary bib for the Army Run. All opinions are my own and I happily would have endorsed the Army Run no matter what as the race is that awesome.