Leesburg 20k recap!

As mentioned earlier this week, I signed up for the Leesburg 20k on a bit of a whim – and after the experience…I can definitely say I am glad I did!

Since it was a bit of destination race (Leesburg is about 2.5-ish hours North of Charlottesville) hubs and I decided to make a weekend trip of it – traveling up on Saturday afternoon. After a delicious lunch at Eden Center in Falls Church, we headed over to packet pick-up at Potomac River Running Store – totally smooth, and I was definitely impressed with the Race Swag – a Nike Dri-fit top as well as a cool pint glass!

Definitely one of the best race tees I’ve earned!

The glass has the same logo, but all in white – and the race is only $40!

After the pick up, we headed to the hotel that we were staying at to unpack some of the stuff from the car, then headed downtown for pizza at Fireworks! It was really good and great pre-race food 😀

Bedtime was early, and I got a full 7 hours of rest before getting up at six (definitely one of my favorite things about staying at a hotel before a race – wakeup call!) and then race prepping – and off to the start by 7 AM (race start time 7:30 AM).

I heard the race was supposed to be hilly so I wore my run pretty far chevron ‘hills’ top!

…and yes, I did bring my lucky skirt out of retirement for this!! I just love it so much…

But – back to the race! I heard that there were about 800 participants in the 20k – and there was a 5k too – and they shared start times (this would probably be a criticism of mine if I ran the 5k because it was pretty congested) so I tried to get a nice middle-pack spot before the race started.

Side note: when there are no corrals, it shocks me how many walk-runners try to get front spots. There is nothing wrong with walk-running, but really…be respectful of your fellow race participants!

Course Map.

Mile 1 – 8:30 – crowd was thick! No passing this entire mile, and since the race started off across all the road lanes, there were groups forming walls!

Mile 2 – 8:06 – finally…passed a few people when we hit the turn-around round-about maneuver around the local high school. Before long, we were headed onto the W&OD Trail which was in a word: GLORIOUS.

Mile 3 – 8:24, Mile 4 -8:35 – relatively uneventful, though around the fourth mile point my left shin was acting kind of weird. I told myself that YES, it was okay to run a little slower for a while and monitor my pain level. It was more like a soreness so I kept it nice and easy.

Mile 5 – 8:14 – leg pain all but dissipated. Yay! Time to sit back, relax and enjoy the trail – wait, what is this…

Mile 6 – 8:21, Mile 7 – 8:13 – I call this portion of the race…STOP AND GO ANNOYING MAN RACE TIME. So yeah, here’s what happened…I’m just coasting along, feeling good and all of a sudden – this guy…burgundy tech tee, dark hair…he somehow thinks we are racing. I mean, not 20k racing, but me VS. him racing…which is fine and dandy, a lil friendly competition never hurt, but he does NOT know what he is doing! I am keeping a relatively even pace, while he darts forward, all-out sprinting…then STOPS. Abruptly. Like, pull out all the stops break stops. UGH. For those of you that have been on the W&OD – it looks like this:


Green, gorgeous – and narrow. As in, GET AWAY FROM ME ANNOYING MAN! I did everything I could to get away – run ahead of him in his stop-phases, stay back at a water station to attempt to let him get ahead…it just wasn’t happening…argh! So, I just turned up my music a bit and tried to ignore him…

Mile 8 – 8:54 – Miraculously, he disappeared somewhere! I was so happy. I also realized that I hadn’t taken any nutrition during the race, so I slowed down, pulled to the side and took a GU (the race provided them, and I broke a race day rule and tried a flavor that I had never had before – Mandarin Orange – and LOVED it)

Mile 9 – 7:50, Mile 10 – 7:56 – WOW! Power up. That GU rocked. At this point, I ran a portion of these two miles with a girl that had a similar pace as me. We chatted for a while about the awesome weather, the trail and (!!) annoying STOP AND GO race man! Hah! She had to deal with him, too…it was nice to chat for a bit!!

Mile 11 – 7:37, Mile 12 – 7:22 – I was flying now! I thought back at that feeling at Mile 4 – shin pain, self-doubt…it was all gone. SO gone.

Mile .4 (of 13th Mile) – 7:13 (avg) – After I passed the Mile 12 marker, I recognized the area and knew exactly where the upcoming turns were going to be…the finish line was deceptively uphill, but I felt like I could keep running even after passing under the sign!

Obviously taken before the race 😉

I had a huge smile on my face…and started walking over to the finish-line goodies before realizing (as usual) that I had not stopped the Garmin…so I did, and my smile got bigger when I saw that!

Goal Marathon Pace – my unofficial goal for running the 20K (along with beating my HM time, of course).

As I gulped down the Fruit Punch Gatorade from the finisher’s goodie table, I practically skipped over to the parking area where hubs was going to pick me up…I was stoked that our hotel was so close because I had a date with a bath tub filled with ice…


I was so thankful that our room was just three doors down from the ice machine! Also…super stoked that the thick plastic packet pick-up bag doubled as an excellent carrier of a WHOLE LOT of ice!

10-minutes later…and I confirmed what I had felt from the moment I registered…this was an excellent race…and I couldn’t have been happier about how it turned out!

Have you ever run a 20k?


  1. Fantastic! I wish I had run this one before I left. I think it sold out last year so I was unable to get in. I love Eden Center for yummy food (Good choice) I am so very impressed with your time! Your a stud Krissy! A very BIG Congratulations!

    • Thanks, Lisa! It was a lot of fun 😀 This run really gave me the boost of confidence I’ve been looking for after a summer of humid and sluggish-feeling runs!

    • Thanks, Emily! And YES, this trail made me so jealous that I couldn’t run on it daily!!!!

  2. It was definitely PERFECT weather for a long run. I should’ve run it…but glad I didn’t and try to keep up with you Ms. Speedy McSpeederson!! I lived about 2 blocks from that trail a couple years ago and hated running on it. So boring. That was also back when I was in a running slump. I’d probably love it now.

    • LOL! I’ll take boring anyday – helps me zone out on a run. I hate dodging cars in Cville, haha 😉

  3. I did the race yesterday and also loved it! You actually passed me around mile 7 or so. It was after the turn-around and we were going down the hill back on the trail. It seemed like you were running away from someone–I guess I know why now! Great time! I loved the race as well! It was fun and the last few miles kind of flew! We completely lucked out on the weather as I’ve done this race before and other times it’s been HOT and HUMID!

    • OMG! I remember you clearly, hot pink compression socks, right??!?! Congrats on a great race, if crazy hadn’t been driving me bananas we could have run together!!!!!

      • Haha! YES! I really wasn’t sure if that was you, but I do remember the fun zig-zag prints! You’d do well in the streets of DC. If anyone tried to mug you–just use your speedyness! I’m thinking of running the Stonewall 20-Miler since it matches my training plan! 🙂

    • Yes! The Stonewall jackson 20-miler is awesome! I am trying to do it again this year, I’d love to see you there!!!

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