Prefrosh Preview: Running in the District
All you young bloods will quickly notice that the Georgetown area has a ridiculous amount of runners. As soon as you realize that D.C. is the town of the A types, this won’t seem so odd to you. With breathtaking sites and inexhaustible peer pressure in the form of omnipresent spandex bouncing past, D.C. is a the city for killer runs.
Favorite runs in the district
For your inaugural run, I recommend the Lincoln Monument. It’s easy to get to and something to write home about. Vox personally once texted a Notre Dame-er: “Just ran to Lincoln monument, Hoya Saxa bitch.” To get to Abe, take a street of your choosing (P, O, N, Prospect) east to Wisconsin Ave. Take a right on to Wisconsin and run until you see water. This would be the Potomac River. (
Potomac comes from the Greek word for river. You’ve just arrived at the River River.) The path along the river leads all the way to Lincoln. It’s just over 2 miles from the front gate.
As the Lincoln is the westernmost part of the Mall, you’ve just learned how to run to the Mall. The Mall is fantastic to explore via running, but you’ll have to dodge Asians with cameras and 8th graders wearing the same shirt. On the plus side, there are water fountains and bathrooms literally everywhere. For a great 6-mile run, I circle the Washington Monument.
If you want nature and ground more forgiving on the body, Roosevelt Island is just across Key Bridge. This lesser known 88.5-acre monument to Theodore Roosevelt contains dirt footpaths and a boardwalk through swampier areas. The main loop is about 1.4 miles around.
Vox‘s personal favorite is the route through Dumbarton Oaks and Rock Creek Park. Enter on R Street just east of 31st. The steep asphalt road soon gives way to a beautiful wooded path. Follow north to run through the Smithsonian National Zoo. Follow the main trail back south to P Street, which you can run west back to campus.
A few other routes: Dupont Circle is just an easy 2-miles straight east on P Street. Take Q Street back for a mainly cobblestone loop. The White House is also 2 miles straight southeast on Pennsylvania Ave. Archbold Parkway is another woodsy run to try, accessible from Reservoir Road. The C&O canal path, parallel to M, is accessible from 34th for a picturesque run.
D.C. Races to sign up for
The Rock n’ Roll Marathon series comes to D.C. every March. With both half and full marathon options, participants find a local band at every mile. Very popular among GU students, the start line is easily accessible by metro from campus. D.C. also hosts The Color Run on September 22nd, where runners will be drenched in color powder along the 5k route. A complete list of D.C. races in 2013 can be found here.
M Street is home to City Sports and Georgetown Running Company, as well as Lululemon and Athleta. Georgetown is a well-off neighborhood, what follows is higher prices for the same item. I was appalled to find my Mizuno Wave Precisions were $30 more than list price in Chicago. Therefore, Vox recommends Amazon over anything on M, save for last minute, absolutely necessary items. (Anti-chaffing goo, for example.)
Ice can be found just inside the doors of Yates Gym. Yates also has mats for stretching and strength training by the indoor tennis courts. There are no staff trainers available to non-student athletes, but that may change in the coming year. Vital Vittles sells an array of energy bars as well as fresh fruit, as does Epicurean.
One last tip: don’t bother running M Street unless its early morning or late at night. Pedestrian traffic is typically overwhelming. Happy running!
Editor’s note: Fuck urban legends
Photo: Katie Harris via Flickr