What it is: A local running store, Pacers, has partnered with New Balance on a well-known Washington, D.C. area race, the George Washington Parkway Classic, a 10-mile race.
But wait, that's not the cool thing.
The cool thing is that the race has a "Break Your PR Challenge." You submit an essay about how running has changed your life, and if your essay is compelling enough, you get picked.
And I was one of the nine people who did.
The winners get:
- Free entry to the race
- Free New Balance uniform for the race: shoes, shorts, and technical shirt
- Free coaching from the Pacers coach, who leads a group of semi-elite/elite local runners
- Start at or near the starting line of the race, along with the elites
- Your essay and photo on the GW Parkway Classic website
- Attend the race exposition and dinner with Olympic Trials Marathon qualifier, former elite runner and training coach Dick Beardsley
- Attend the post-race award ceremony, press interviews, and other photo opps
- Update our progress on the race website
- Get two more free pairs of running shoes over one year
- A GW Parkway Classic jacket
Except for mine and one other woman's.
When you click on my name, you get "HTTP Error: Page Not Found." (I'm the first winner listed.) You can read a tiny snippet of my essay in the race press release posted online. But that's not the same as reading the whole thing.
I and a friend told the race organizers about the error 7 days ago, which they said they would fix very soon. But they haven't yet.
I was waiting until they fixed the error to announce my winning here. But I'm tired of waiting. So I'm going to post my essay and ugly mug here later today (this post is already too long).
And if you happen to tell the race organizers that you can't read all of the winners' essays, I won't stop you.