St. Paddy's Day Weekend is here again, which means its time for GRC's finest road warriors to take on a few of the DC area's favorite climbs. On Saturday morning, much of our Boston crew will take on the Calvert Street hill during the middle miles of the Rock and Roll National Half Marathon. Across the river in the Commonwealth, a few brave souls will try their luck (I promise that's the only pun in here) on the two-miles-down two-miles-up course at the Four Courts Four Miler. Though the uphill splits may be slow, both of these races will provide some welcome mid-season strength for the bigger races to come.
The RnR half will serve as an important measuring stick for several GRC harriers aiming for glory on the Newton Hills in 5 weeks time. Kerry, Julie and Teal lead the way for the women and could provide some exciting performances. Kerry especially is in excellent shape and is aiming to improve her half-PR in preparation for Boston. For the men, recent addition Matt Rand makes his bibbed-debut for GRC tomorrow. A three-time All-American at Tufts, Matt looks poised for a great GRC career in the longer distances. Though he's not running Boston, 2013 Best Newcomer Oregon Paul will race his first ever half-marathon as his 2014 campaign begins in earnest.
"Abandon hope of even splits, all ye who run the Four Courts Four Miler"
A solid group of shorter-distance oriented GRCers will surely take these words to heart Saturday morning in Arlington. Showing his respect for the course's rapid change in grade, David Roche feels that the race is "possibly right up my alley, or will possibly cause me to throw up in the alley." Saturday marks Roche's return to racing after a long lay-off this winter spent maniacally rehabbing a torn hip labrum, but the former USATF 10k trail champ looks fit and ready to roll.
For those interested in spectating the Half, Sam "El Presidente" Luff and I will be hootin' and hollerin' near the Calvert Street Bridge, so let us know if you want to join. Or, you can cheer from a spot of your choosing located somwhere along this course map: http://runrocknroll.competitor.com/usa/course .
It should be a great weekend for the whole crop of GRC roadies, so keep it tuned to the blog or tweeter for all the updates you can handle.