half marathon, Races, Running

Devil Dog Double

The Devil Dog Double is a part of the Marine Corps Historic Half Weekend in Fredericksburg, Virginia. DDD runners participate in both the five mile Semper 5ive and the Historic Half Marathon in the same morning and run the infamous Hospital Hill twice.

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We drove down to Fredericksburg on Saturday morning for the Healthy Lifestyle Expo, which was held at the Fredericksburg Expo & Conference Center. We picked up our bibs and then our shirts. You select your shirt size when you register, but sizes weren’t listed on the bibs. I was able to get my Devil Dog Double shirt, but they ran out of Ed’s size in the Semper 5ive shirts.

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There were 3 free parking options on Sunday morning for the Semper 5ive. You could park at James Monroe High School, the Mary Washington Healthcare Administration Building, or the Mary Washington Healthcare parking lots. We decided to park at James Monroe High School, which was about a 1/2 mile walk from the Semper 5ive start line on Fall Hill Avenue. Parking was very quick and easy!

Devil Dog Double participants started the Semper 5ive at 6:40AM, which is 20 minutes earlier than the actual Semper 5ive began.

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The Devil Dog Double requires runners to cross the Semper 5ive finish line by 7:25 AM. This requires a 9-minute-per-mile pace or faster. One thing I’ve learned about the Marine Corps races, is that the Marines are always on time. They even closed a gate so you couldn’t get to the start line of the Historic Half if you didn’t make it in time!

When you finish the Semper 5ive, you loop around and immediately begin the half marathon. I really enjoyed the half marathon course. We ran along the Rappahannock River and through downtown Fredericksburg.IMG_4847IMG_4842IMG_4844

IMG_4863Both courses were ridiculously hilly and included the infamous Hospital Hill. Devil Dog Double runners had to scale Hospital Hill TWICE. This hill came at Mile 2.5 in the Semper 5ive and 10.5 in the half marathon.

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IMG_4860My favorite part of the course was the Blue Mile located at mile 8.5. This is where fallen service members are remembered. I even found Don, a friend from college who was Killed in Action in Afghanistan in May 2010.

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I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy to see a finish line in my life. I was absolutely exhausted by the time I finished. I’ve run 3 marathons and completed Disney’s Dopey Challenge, so I know not to go out too fast and how to pace myself. However, the Devil Dog Double forced me to go out fast and run the first 5 miles at a quick pace. The Devil Dog Double was definitely a challenge, but I’m really glad I did it!

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There was a free shuttle service that took runners back to the Semper 5ive parking locations. You could catch the shuttle in the Walmart parking lot at the Capital One Bank until 11AM. It was about a 1/2 mile walk from the finish line to where you catch the shuttle.

We spent too much time in the Michelob Ultra beer tent after the race and actually missed the shuttles (the beer tent also had Goose Island beer!) We ended up taking an Uber back to James Monroe High School with 2 other random guys who also missed the shuttle.

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