Capitol Hill Classic Review and Recap

by - Monday, May 20, 2013

The Capitol Hill Classic is one of those very "DC" races that I've heard about every year since I've lived here, but never actually got around to running until yesterday.

It's a lollipop-course 10K that takes you past some of the gorgeous homes on the Hill before looping you out around RFK stadium and then returning you to where you started in front of Stanton Park.

The weather on race morning was overcast and frankly, pretty disgusting, threatening to spit rain on us at any second.

Foggy morning
View from the metro on race morning

It was chilly, but weirdly humid and I debated for a while what I should wear to run, eventually deciding on shorts and a tank top (definitely ended up being the right choice.)

A few weeks ago, I had convinced Megan to run the race, and she had then convinced a few friends to sign up too, so we had a nice little group.

Cap hill classic 2013
Jen, Alex, Megan, me

Alex was running her first race and Jen was running her first 10K.

My only goal for the race was seeing what I could do speed-wise on the course. My 10K PR was from 2009, so I figured I could shave some time off. (Then again that's what I thought during last year's Lawyers Have Heart 10K and that definitely didn't happen.)

I almost never race 10Ks. They're a weird distance that I don't love because I don't know how to run them well. You can't push as hard as you can in a 5K or you'll burnout too quickly, but you can't pace them like you would a half marathon or you'll finish too slowly with way too much left in the tank.

Cap hill classic 2013

So my pacing plan for the race, was too push myself to an uncomfortable place from the start, and see if I could hang on. The course helped me a bit here because you start running on a downhill. Actually the whole first half of the course is a nice downhill before you climb steadily back to the start.

Cap Hill Classic Course

I knew that going in and figured I'd try to bank some time in the early miles.

I clocked my first miles in 8:08 and 8:14 respectively. Thank you downhill!

The course flattened out a bit then through the lollipop loop, but I was still pacing pretty well until we hit the first big uphill on the way back.

Mile 4 was the first time one of my miles was not a sub-9 pace. I think it clocked in around 9:11.

But I battled up the hill, and the course leveled out for a smidge so I could pick up the pace again.

By mile 5 I was hurting pretty bad, but I knew I didn't have too much farther to go, so I just tried to hang on. The rain had started to fall a bit more steadily, and it was actually a welcome relief and did a nice job cooling me down a bit. Plus there was a little bit of crowd support here, which was nice and something you don't see a ton in smaller races.

When I saw the mile 6 marker, I knew I had a new PR in the bag, it was just a matter of how much of a PR it would be. I kicked hard across the finish line, crossing in 53:25, good enough for nearly three minutes off my previous PR.

Brand new 10K PR @caphillclassic #fitfluential #iwill


Turned out that all of us had a pretty good day. Megan was happy with her time and Alex and Jen set automatic PRs!


Overall, I really enjoyed this race. Other than a minor blip at the beginning of the race with packet pick up delaying the start by 15 minutes, I thought the race was well organized and well run. It's definitely a race I'd recommend and certainly one I plan to run again.

You May Also Like


  1. nice job! sorry I missed you out there. It was a fun race though

  2. Congrats! It was a yucky day for racing, but I guess heat would have been worse. One of these days I'll get down there for this one.

  3. Yay!!! Great job nailing down that PR! that's what, your 3rd pr this year? you're beating everything now and should write a post about why that keeps happening. (hint: i think it's crossfit)

  4. Great job! I agree, the 10k is a weird distance. I never know how fast / slow to go either because I rarely get to race them. Nice post! :)

  5. Laura3:30 PM

    Woohoo congrats on new PR! You've been getting so speedy!! :)