A look ahead at upcoming marathons and 5Ks in the nation’s capital
See more of the District with runs through its neighborhoods
As the fall semester kicks off, why not consider registering for one of Washington’s many upcoming runs? A run is the perfect opportunity for students to seek refuge from their studies and explore the city.
As cardiologist and exercise enthusiast George Sheehan wrote in 1978, “every day I put on my running clothes, I am born again. Seeing things as if for the first time, seeing the familiar as unfamiliar, the common as uncommon.” Here are four local races where runners can see the seemingly familiar landscapes of the District as unfamiliar.
Date: Sept. 16
Starting Line Location: Washington Monument, 2 15th Street NW Washington, DC 20024
Currently in its 15th year, this there-and-back half-marathon leads runners along the Washington Channel and Potomac River before turning deeper into the city along the scenic Rock Creek Parkway. The race is organized by Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling (JBAB), a Navy and Air Force military base located in the Congress Heights neighborhood. All proceeds from the race support JBAB Morale, Welfare and Recreation, which works to strengthen the well-being of soldiers and their families while they live on the base.
Date: Nov. 18
Starting Line Location: Georgetown side of Francis Scott Key Bridge
The Turkey Tumble will give students a chance to enjoy the fall weather before the Thanksgiving holiday break begins on Nov. 21. All three races take place along the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal Path. If students are interested in preparing for the race ahead of time, they can easily access the route via trails in Battery Kremble Park and Archbold Glover Park—both of which are near AU’s campus. The race organizers are donating 25 percent of their profits to the Organization for Autism Research.
Date: Dec. 9
Starting Line Location: Intersection of 15th St, NW and Constitution Ave, NW, near Washington Monument
Students can release any lingering stress before they begin their final exams by partaking in a festive, low-stakes run through the National Mall and Tidal Basin areas. Pacers Running, the race organizer, encourages runners to dress in holiday garb. While participants can choose to donate to a charity upon registering for the race, this is a for-profit event for Pacers Running.
Date: March 9
Starting Line Location: Not yet announced
Students can use any of the above races to prepare for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Washington D.C. Marathon. Last March, more than 25,000 runners snaked through the streets of the District’s eclectic neighborhoods. Even those not interested in running might find the race unavoidable. Road closures will inevitably abound the day of the race.
There are plenty more races for runners to look out for in the coming months. A more comprehensive list of races and informal group runs can be found here. Wherever runners may go this year, they should take a moment to look up from the concrete and absorb the shapes and sounds of the District.