A glowing review (get it?) of the Crystal City Twilighter 5K

Here I am in BibRave orange after picking up my packet for the Crystal City Twilighter 5K on Saturday, July 22. (Vanessa Junkin photo)

Disclaimer: I received a free entry to the Crystal City Twilighter 5K as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRavePro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find and write race reviews!

Decked out in orange from head to toe — literally — I made my way to Arlington, Virginia, for the Crystal City Twilighter 5K.

The Pacers Running event was my second BibRave race. To take on the 5K, I wore my BibRave tank, BibRave Buff and painted my fingernails and toenails orange to match. I also got an orange glow stick and pink glow stick upon arrival to wear during the race.

The race was at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 22, and since races are usually in the morning, it was a little weird having the whole day before the race even began. I stayed at my grandparents’ house, about an hour or a little less away, and left early to ensure extra time.

I had seen that the packet pickup was moved inside, but I still followed the directions to the original location, as they were very close. I ended up getting free parking at a parking garage, and then when I arrived at packet pickup — about an hour and a half before the race began — there was no line.

This was a cool setup where people could hang out before or after the Crystal City Twilighter 5K. (Vanessa Junkin photo)

I easily got my bib, glow sticks and tank. If you read my previous posts, you know I was excited about the tank. I have been running for thirteen years, and this is the first time I’d ever received a tank as a race premium. I had chosen a large shirt, and the shirt did look a little big, but I’d rather have a shirt that’s too big than too small, and I didn’t ask to exchange it. I wore it the next day (look for my post on running at Lake Needwood soon), and although it’s a little long, I really like it.

Bathrooms can always be a concern for runners, but I was able to use the bathroom inside without a line. (What?!) There were also a bunch of portable toilets, and while there could have been a line at some point, I didn’t see one.

Here I am (left) with fellow BibRave Pro Katie before the start of the Crystal City Twilighter 5K. (Vanessa Junkin photo)

After getting some photos for social media (not in the bathroom, of course), I met fellow BibRave Pro Katie, of Adventures by Katie. This was my first time meeting a fellow BibRave Pro, which I thought was fun. Even though there were other BibRave Pros who ran the Rock ‘n’ Roll Washington D.C. Half Marathon, my first BibRave race, I didn’t get to meet any of them.

I thought the Run Club Throw Down was a really cool idea. Different running clubs could take part — and it wasn’t just about which team was the fastest; there were other factors, including smartest, which involved Trivial Pursuit questions. I’m hoping I can recruit some fellow Eastern Shore Running Club members to take part next year. There are also three divisions — Racing Clubs & Teams, Community Run Clubs and Pacers Neighborhood Fun Runs — which is nice, because I know I personally can’t compete with a racing team.

It had rained on my way to Arlington, but when the race started, it was no longer raining. I might have felt a few drops. The race was chip-timed and went through the Crystal City area of Arlington, right outside of Washington, D.C. I am not familiar with the city, but there were tons of people and the course was easy to follow. I did a small amount of weaving between runners in the beginning, but it didn’t really affect me.

Each mile was marked with lit letters and a number, that read “Mile 1,” “Mile 2,” etc. I took water at the first water stop, where there was music playing.

Here I am glowing with a cool background after finishing the Crystal City Twilighter 5K. (Vanessa Junkin photo)

At some point in the race, at least after seeing my Mile 2 split, I was thinking I might be able to run each mile faster than the last. That didn’t work out perfectly, but I did run all my miles under 9:00, and I was relatively consistent. My four 5Ks this year have all been within 30 seconds of each other, but this was my fastest.

It had been really hot earlier in the day and the previous day, but I think the rain cooled things down, even though it was still humid. It helped that it was at night, and I enjoyed seeing all the glow sticks as I ran. There were even some glowing decorations hanging from a tree.

I was got two water bottles after finishing the race, and then I was able to see Katie finish. I also got a beer — there was no line when I went — and some food. The food options were bananas and soft pretzels.

The atmosphere was really fun, and it definitely had a party feel. There was a DJ, and there were light-up tables and other colorful lights around the park where everything was based. I hung around some to take in the experience, but I left when it started pouring, slightly before 9:45 p.m. At the time, Alan Webb, the American record-holder in the mile, was reading off Trivial Pursuit questions to the Run Club Throw Down teams.

This photo is from the following day, but it shows off my new Crystal City Twilighter 5K race tank. (self-timer photo)

I was able to see my race time that evening, since the results went directly to my Facebook page. I also posed for a couple photos at a photo booth that was set up, although I haven’t seen those posted yet.

Although I got a free entry as noted above, this race benefited Doorways for Women and Families.

I spent part of the following day with Pacers Running, too, as I attended the Summer Runner Book Club on “Sub 4:00: Alan Webb and the Quest for the Fastest Mile,” with author Chris Lear and Webb, at the Navy Yard location. That was awesome — I will be posting about the book and book club soon.

It will be another year till this race comes around again, but if you’re interested in doing another upcoming Pacers Running event, you can save $5 on the Clarendon Day Run with code 17cdrBibRave.

Splits (from watch):

Mile 1: 8:55

Mile 2: 8:40

Mile 3: 8:50

Last Part (watch had .17): 1:18

Official Time: 27:39 (watch time: 27:45 because I started it at the first mat)

Update: Somehow I forgot to include that in the last post on this race, I predicted I would likely be in the 27s, and that’s where I ended up!

Check out my BibRave review for this race here

Like She Runs by the Seashore on Facebook here

This was where the DJ was. The letters/numbers for the mile markers looked like the same type of letters. (Vanessa Junkin photo)



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