The LoCo Challenge is 2 races in 2 days totaling 18 miles (18.07 to be exact!). Runners complete both the 8k on Saturday and the half marathon on Sunday.
I definitely was not prepared for these races since I was diagnosed with strep throat on Thursday (2 days before the first race). It hurt to swallow, so I hadn’t been drinking a lot of water and wasn’t properly hydrated. I also wasn’t really eating since it hurt to eat solid food. I lived off of scrambled eggs and applesauce.
We picked up our bibs in One Loudoun on Friday afternoon. LoCo runners got 3 short sleeve technical t-shirts (one for the 8k, one for the half marathon, and one for the challenge) and will wear the same bib for both races.
The 8k started at 8:00AM. We arrived just before 7:30. Parking was no problem at all since there are plenty of parking lots and parking garages in One Loudoun. We hung out in the car for 20 minutes since it was raining, windy, and cold. We headed to the start line around 7:50.
Most of the course is run on the streets of Ashburn. A small part of the course was on a gravel train. There was one water stop around mile 2.
I took it easy since I’ve been sick and finished in 49:24. We met up with some of my coworkers at the finish line.
The 8k kicks off the Live Well Loudoun Festival on Saturday. The festival takes place outdoors, and we didn’t stay since the weather was gross.
The half marathon started at 7:00AM at Broad Run High School in Ashburn. Parking was at the high school and was no problem at all. I arrived around 6:45 and headed towards the start line.
Most of the course took place on the roads in Ashburn. We also ran on the W&OD Trail for about 3 miles. It was a little more crowded on the trail since it was not closed to the public and there were bikers and other runners on it.
I was very happy about the amount of water stops along the course (there were 6). There was also Gatorade, GU, and oranges on the course.
The finish was also at Broad Run High School. We finished on the track in Broad Run’s football stadium. Once again, I took it easy and finished in 2:16:06.
When you cross the finish line, you get a medal (or two if you did the LoCo Challenge!) and a reusable red bag from INOVA Heart and Vascular Institute. The bag had pretzels, water and a banana in it. I’ve been using my bag to pack my lunches for work… it’s the perfect size!