Race Recap: Parkway Classic

By | May 6, 2024

Spoiler: I finished

with a side of friends and fun. Linking up with Kim and Deborah even though I missed the linkup window to talk about the shenanigans that ensued last weekend.

TL;DR, part of my “why not” year, aka “why not run this race I haven’t run before?” I’d definitely run it again if schedule allowed

I decided to run Parkway Classic last fall when I realized that Cherry Blossom 10M wouldn’t work schedule wise, and there likely wouldn’t be any blossoms due to the race being delayed by a week.  Parkway Classic also had the benefit of being in Virginia, a new state to run/race in for me and something I’ve whined about since realizing that the “new” Cherry Blossom course doesn’t go across the second bridge and therefore is wholly in DC.

Registration was easy and I appreciated that Pacers offered a No Questions Asked refund add on, as well as the option to take a store credit in lieu of the race shirt. Until I went to bib pick up – more on that below – I didn’t remember which option I’d gone for.

it was spring on Thursday

and summer on Monday!

in person coffee!

The weekend mischief started before and ended after I even left with Deborah and I switching states for the weekend. We’ve had other times where she’s here and I’m not, so glad we were still able to catch up for some wine and sushi. And fittingly for a week of the Coffee Date linkup, coffee literally hosted by Coco.  Winning all around.

Since I wasn’t trying to cram all the things into a weekend, I didn’t take the 7am train – a good call because I also hadn’t packed! This race was easier than March to pack for since the weather was set, but it’s still hard to know all the weekend outfits you’ll need-and it was going to be chilly on Saturday.

I guess that house is important or something?!? 😉

fun design


Mount Vernon has been on my bucket list for probably almost ten years since a trip Mom and I took to DC and couldn’t fit it in.  During my COVID drives to Florida I didn’t have the time to stop and it’s not particularly accessible from DC. So when Coco offered to drive the race route to give me a preview and then offered a visit, I couldn’t say yes quickly enough.  There is no expo for this race and bib pickup is at a number of Pacers stores over the course of a couple of weekends, which makes it easy. There is also a mailing option, but it didn’t seem worth it to me. The shirt design was interesting, although I’m not sure I’ve deciphered all the symbolism. It doesn’t photograph well, but the color matches the blue in the medal.

After a farmers’ market trip and a pass through Athleta, because you have to, we headed to Mount Vernon.

I was very impressed with how they handled the presence of the enslaved and told a more complete history of the mansion and grounds than some of the southern plantations do. But walking through history was powerful. I especially loved that thanks to some amazing preservation efforts, we had the same view as Washington did. With the weather it wasn’t as crowded as it might have been, and we could really appreciate the wallpaper, copper dining room and history of being where Washington was. I’d pretty much made the decision, but Mount Vernon solidified my plan to listen to Hamilton on the run. As far as feet resting, it’s way better than I ever do in any DC area race and I went into Sunday feeling nervous about the weather but ready and rested for the race.

not so flat Cari

1.2.3 shenanigans



The organizers provide buses from both Washington and Old Town Alexandria, but thanks to my wonderful host I had door to door drop off. 😀 As much as I love Cherry Blossom, there’s something about a race about a quarter the size in terms of logistics. From drop off it was about 30 seconds until we found one another. This is the first race we all managed to do together, although we did parts of Cherry Blossom together last year. Amassing quite the collection of sequin skirts! I love how these fit and wear comfortably over compression shorts or a Skirt Sports Cascade. Someone really needs to make compression sleeves for us short folks. They help a lot but would help even more if they weren’t folded at the knee and ankle!

and we’re off

Thanks to our drive through of the course, I knew we’d have rolling hills the first half before it flattened out, and I knew to be aware of uneven road. Folks were very good at calling out “pothole” to keep everyone safe. I LOVE the 10m distance and just did the Prospect Park 10M within the cutoff so I knew I was OK but was relieved to hit the 5M ahead of sweeper. It’s obviously understandable as a major thoroughfare but stressful.

almost there!


I was excited for this as the home stretch, but also because it meant we had a turn coming. The Parkway is pretty with the tree frame, and views over the Potomac to Maryland (yes, I was confused about that on Saturday. I really, really need to look at the map more) but I was looking forward to a new road as a marker of progress. Speaking of markers, they’re all aligned-ish with the watches except for 3m which was at the top of a hill and more like at the 5K marker. With a smaller race of people not necessarily racing, we had lots of moments of looking around to validate what we were seeing. Reassuring! As with RnR, it was great to run with Jess who knows I can run a little faster than my usual cruise control and subtly pushed me.

we ALL did it!

Air Cari!

Hamming (c) Coco

WE DID IT! Jen’s first 10M. All of us in ahead of the sweeper and a negative split (yay pacer and hair finally long enough for fast braids) and she finished to Jenny from the Block. That Air Cari is a little iffy, the maybe shadow is doing a lot of work, but I’m calling it Air Cari. We lucked out that we had overcast skies for much of it as it was unexpectedly and unseasonably-ish warm. With all of that, only 4m behind Cherry Blossom 2023, which seems like eons ago in terms of training. My only issue with this race is that bag check closes right at the cut off but after cheering us in, Coco went ahead to let them know we were coming and they held it open. Not even speaking as  proud turtle – that seems silly when there’s a great post race festival. We circled back for these photos before heading to a much needed brunch. Coffee and AC, what else is needed on race morning? I’d introduced everyone post CUCB last year but brunch was a fun chance to catch up, and catch all the sequins falling off our skirts!

Overall: I’d absolutely run this again. Maybe not every year, but if you’re looking for a spring option it’s a great one. Much smaller than RnR and Cherry Blossom and much prettier a road race than the Bronx 10M.

What’s Next: maybe a recap of the other two April races and one this weekend? It was a good month and I think the training kind of showed up on race day. Race wise, the Women’s Mini, which may have a new course again this year with no map a month out. I have a love hate relationship with that race, but I always end up running it.

4 thoughts on “Race Recap: Parkway Classic

  1. Deborah Brooks

    You sure fit a lot into your time in DC! So glad you enjoyed the race and the course. Honestly, I get a little confused as to the VA and MD thing over in that area as well. Yay for our meetups definitely a highlight for me as well. Hope to see you again soon. Congrats to all of you!

  2. Wendy

    I know how much Coco loves this race and the smaller field definitely makes me want to do this one! Congrats. And yes you did squeeze a lot in!

  3. Darlene S Cardillo

    I love everything about this!!! Blogger meet-ups, a race with friends, sightseeing… etc.

    You know how to do it all!!

    And your attitude about running of race reminds me of…?

    Hope to see you soon… most likely not until June.


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