Inaugural Biggest Loser DC 5K Review

by - Monday, July 15, 2013

So this weekend Emily and I were supposed to run the inaugural Biggest Loser 5K in DC, but because of my foot injury, I obviously couldn't actually run the race.

Big congrats to @emilyyahr for rocking the biggest loser 5K this morning.
Emily after finishing!

Disclaimer: I was offered a free entry to the race so I could review it.

I was pretty bummed because sitting on the sidelines during a race is no fun, but it was about a million degrees outside with a thousand percent humidity, so sitting on the sidelines wasn't the worst in this situation.


Emily and I got there just as the race was starting and I quickly grabbed a sunny spectating spot while she hurried off to run the race.

The race took place in the parking lots of RFK stadium in DC, and because so many people had registered, the race directors used a wave system at the start to help with spacing on the course.

Good decision there. I'm always a fan of wave starts to help with spacing on the course.


The only thing was, the waves were set up kind of weird. You know how in normal races, the fastest people are in the first wave with slower folks and walkers toward the back? Well these waves seemed to not be broken up that way at all.

In fact, each wave had an entire mix of speeds from sprinters to walkers. If I were in the second or third wave and had to run past a whole bunch of walkers, I would have been pretty annoyed.

A few minutes after the first wave, I saw Emily cruise by in the third or fourth wave.

Go Emily!

As the minutes ticked by, I was getting excited to watch the race leaders come in to the finish.

There must have been some confusion somewhere on the course because the 10K front runners got turned around somewhere and looped past us going in the wrong direction.

I asked Emily after the race if the course was clearly marked and she said it was definitely a little confusing at points and saw how it would have been pretty easy for people to get turned about.


They must have got things straightened out eventually though because the rest of the pack ended up going in the correct direction.

Despite the heat and humidity, it looked like most people were having fun. Because the race was sponsored by the Biggest Loser and several of the contestants from past seasons were there, the race drew a large crowd. There were lots of families and people of all different fitness levels, running and walking the race.

Emily pretty close to the finish!

Every racer got a really nice tech shirt (yes, I picked mine up even though I couldn't run) and all the finishers got pretty nice medals.

The race certainly has room for improvement in coming years, but I thought they did a few things right.

It was super easy to get to the race either by Metro or by driving. (There was plenty of parking if you chose to drive.) Emily got through the finisher's area and was able to grab water and a banana fairly quickly. They had a misting station near the finish area to cool people down.

The expo was centrally located in the city at Penn Social. (I've never been to an expo at a bar) so it was easy to get to from a bunch of different metro lines. I got to the expo a little later on Saturday to pick up our packets, and while there was definitely a bit of a line, it wasn't bad when I was there. (I heard there were much longer lines earlier in the day.) They did run out of size small women's shirts though, which is annoying. If you register for a certain shirt size, you should be able to get that shirt size.

So yes, as with all inaugural races there were definitely some glitches, but overall, Emily had a fun time, and I was kind of bummed I didn't get to participate. If BL decides to bring the race back to DC next year, I would most likely sign up to run it. Although I'm hoping maybe they'll consider having it during a cooler time of year.

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  1. I did the 10K yesterday and thought the course was a complete disaster. There was a lot of confusion for the 10K course. And I can't say that I loved just running through the parking lots. I wrote a recap too with all my thoughts about the race.

  2. I definitely would not have wanted to run the 10K once I knew the race was being held at RFK. I've a run a 5K there before and figured the course was just going to be a double loop of the 5K, which yes, is just a giant circle around parking lots. Bleh.