New USTAF 12K World Record

Congratulations, Molly Huddle!

Yesterday I ran the inaugural .US National Road Racing Championships held in Alexandria, Virginia. I was a bit wary of running an inaugural event, but I figured the USTAF knew what it was doing, Pacers was on board to help with local logistics, and the City of Alexandria usually runs a tight ship. It turned out to be a fantastic event, and the elite runners ran record-setting races, including Molly Huddle who set a world best!

So, what made the USTAF 12K great (aside from the gorgeous sunrise)?

  •  It was perfect racing weather, cloudy and in the 50s!
  • The logistics were easy. We were able to park a block from the starting area and there was never any line for the porta-pottys–even when I decided at the last minute that I had to “go” one more time!
  • The crowds were light. Now, this may not happen again once everyone learns what a great event it was, but there were only about 600 runners. That is so much smaller than all the other races I’ve done this year, and it really makes for a more relaxed experience. I could actually find the people I knew and the post-race festivities did not feel like a mob scene.
  • The course was very well-marked. One of my main concerns before the race was whether I would get lost with all the twists and turns! There were cones and police and/or race volunteers at every turn, so that just was not an issue.


  • The course was interesting. We ran  through Old Town, Alexandria, along streets lined with cute shops and cute houses. We ran through Del Ray, Alexandria, where families were out with their children and dogs cheering on runners. Even the section through Potomac Yard had much more crowd support than I was expecting, due in large part to the great volunteers.
  • The course was mostly flat. There was a short steep hill before mile 1, two steep bridges/overpasses, and a few long, gradual climbs, but the course was mostly “flat and fast.”

I didn’t set a goal time before the race (I never even did the math to figure out how long 12K is in miles!) but I was hoping to sustain an 8:15-ish pace based on my Army Ten Miler performance. I used my Garmin to keep my pace under 8:20, and to make sure I wasn’t going too fast. I did see 7:35 a few times but I knew better than to try to hold that pace!


I was so thrilled to see 1:00:xx on the finish clock!

My split times show that my pace was pretty steady, although the last 2K included a long climb that slowed me down and a downhill stretch that I took advantage of before my near-all-out sprint to the finish!

USTAF 12K Split Times

All in all, it was a terrific finish to my 2013 racing! 

Have you ever seen world class athletes compete in person? 

Are you planning to participate in a Turkey Trot over Thanksgiving weekend? 

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16 Responses to New USTAF 12K World Record

  1. MIZ says:

    oh I could not love you more than when you say you DIDNT DO THE MATH TO FIGURE OUT THE LENGTH OF THE RACE.
    that would be how I would run.
    MIZ recently posted…I sleep like a toddler.My Profile

  2. That is awesome!!Bummed I decided to wait 🙂 Will definitely try it next year and congrats on the PR!
    Sue @This Mama Runs For Cupcakes recently posted…Foodie Friday: My favorite recipes!My Profile

  3. Great race!!! Congratulations. Thanks for doing the math for me – I had no idea what 12K was 🙂 nor did I have the reserves of brain power to figure it out 🙂

    Sounds like it was a great time. recently posted…Three Things ThursdayMy Profile

  4. STEENA says:

    Awesome that you get a medal! I like medals 🙂
    Congrats on your speedy 12k! Nice when an inaugural event goes smoothly! Unlike my inaugural 13.1 that was 11.9 miles, whoops!

  5. Congrats on such a great race! It must feel great to end the 2013 racing season on such a high!
    Kathryn @ Dancing to Running recently posted…2014 New Balance runDisney Shoes Revealed!My Profile

  6. Congratulations!! What a great race! And it’s always fun to run a well organized race, with a flat, interesting course!
    Laura @ Mommy Run Fast recently posted…Celebrating the marathon that wasn’tMy Profile

  7. Kim says:

    WooHoo – you came in exactly on the pace you were hoping to keep – awesome!!
    I’m glad that the race was so great!!!
    Way to end a super racing season!
    Kim recently posted…Resistance Bands or Weights?My Profile

  8. Yum Yucky says:

    I lurves your passion for the run. Love it love it love. 🙂
    Yum Yucky recently posted…My Tummy Tuck Consultation: what to expect, the cost, and why it didn’t go wellMy Profile

  9. Great job!! That’s awesome! haha I was totally trying to do the math in my head as I was reading your post to figure out the distance 🙂
    Christine @ Love, Life, Surf recently posted…Teaching Final Done!My Profile

  10. Courtney says:

    I’ve heard nothing but positive things about this race — so glad you loved it as well. I hope they come back next year!
    Courtney recently posted…26.2My Profile

  11. Pingback: My Birthday Triathlon - Running With Perseverance

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