This year’s Public Service Recognition Week started out not with a bang but with the word, “Go!”
Some 315 runners participated in the second annual PSRW 5K road race at Anacostia Park in Southeast Washington, D.C., under a blazing Sunday morning sun. Anacostia Park might be one of the district’s most underrated assets, a wide open expanse of trails and field along the city’s “second” river.
Runners included sleek speedsters in their 20s, people who qualify for AARP, beefy Pentagon police force members and weekend warriors from a variety of federal agencies and supporters. A few assorted dogs lazed around, watching the festivities.
The race receipts benefited the Federal Employee Education and Assistance fund. Executive Director Steve Bauer ran the race and also handed out awards to the overall race and age category winners. The male race winner was 24-year-old Matthew Matyjek of Arlington, Virginia, with a time of 17:09. The female winner was 43-year-old Lisa Chilcote of Bethesda, Maryland. She ran it in 19:43.
I came in 52nd overall with a showing of 24:33, about 3 1/2 minutes off my younger times, but fast enough to win my age group. I finished simultaneously with 30-year-old Devi Rao of Washington, who works at the National Institutes of Health, and who unknowingly paced me for most of the race.
I did have a slight aerodynamic encumbrance throughout the race, wearing a head-mounted GoPro video camera. See the race through my eyes via the video below. (We’ve cut it down to 1 minute.)
If anything was missing at the PSRW 5K, it was the politicians and political appointees who sometimes pay lip service to career public servants. It wouldn’t have hurt some of them to come out and hoof it through the course or hand out some awards. But that didn’t seem to matter to the FEEA folks, sponsoring organizations or the runners.
Anyhow, there’s a week of events that will feature luminaries such as OPM director Katherine Archuleta and Labor Secretary Tom Perez. But for us runners, it was another race chalked up, albeit for a great cause. Then the usual bagels and bananas, then the rest of Sunday before starting a fresh work week.
View a photo gallery of Sunday’s Public Service 5K Run/Walk here.