Run Like a Colonial
Stuck in a rut? New Year's Resolutions fallen by the wayside? GW Cross Country has some tips to kickstart your workouts and mix up your everyday running loops. As spring and warmer weather is fast approaching, here are five runs that gets you exploring DC and training to get in shape to crush your next 5k race or have that D1 athlete body to show off during spring break.
The courses range from easy to challenging and vary in distance from 3 miles to 10 miles
This is a short and flat 3 mile run that will get you out to see the sites that are so close to GW's campus. GW is always bragging about how close campus is to all these great monuments and here is your chance to go experience them GW XC style.
This loop takes you down 23rd Street, NW towards the Lincoln Memorial, follows the Reflecting Pool past the World War II Memorial to the Washington Monument, then swings up 15th Street, NW, loops around the White House and takes you back into campus.
Tip: This run is best in the early morning as the sun is rising or in the evening as the sun is setting. The monuments are lit up and there are not as many tourists to mess up your groove. However if you plan to run during these times, be sure to wear light-colored clothing and watch out for cars. This run requires you to cross over some busy intersections.
View 3D Map of run here: Google Earth - Monument Run (Short)
Fondly known as "Teddy," this 4.5 mile route will transport you from the bustling city streets to a more quiet setting. The island was deidcated to nature-lover and former president Theodore Rooselvelt in October 1967. The island is a vast 88 acres of green space with manicured trails and a serene memorial in the center. It provides beautiful views of Foggy Bottom, monuments, the Key Bridge and the Georgetown Waterfront.
This loop takes you from campus down G Street, NW towards Virginia Avenue. Crossing over Virginia Ave, NW, you will have to run along the sidewalk that would seemingly take you towards the Kennedy Center. However you will follow the sidewalk along the exit to I-66. This sidewalk will take you along side the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Bridge (safely protected by traffic from a large concrete barrier). This pathway, meant for runners and bikers, will swing right and downhill to the entrance of the island by footbridge. Once on the island, there are many different trails throughout to choose from. Look out for deer and other wildlife!
View 3D Map of run here: Google Earth - Theodore Roosevelt Island
This is an out and back run that can be shortened or lengthened depending on how far you would like to go. These trails are the hidden gem of GW and Northwest Washington D.C. in general. They are an extension of Rock Creek Park and offer the DC Runner an opportunity to experience nature in the middle of the city. These trails are unique and quiet. Unlike Central Park in New York City, these trails are never filled with tourists and are packed earth which relieves stress on knees and other joints.
When leaving campus head down Virginia Avenue towards the Georgetown Waterfront. Run along the Waterfront Park NW and underneath Whitehurst Freeway. You will hit the C & O Canal Path. Follow this path until you hit a tunnel on your right. Loop under and then above the tunnel and it will spit you out on the Georgetown Trails.
View 3D Map of run here: Google Earth - Georgetown Trails
Tip: This out-and-back requires you to cross over Resevoir Road. Also there are a few smaller side trails along the main trail if you are feeling adventurous.
This is an extension of the 3 mile monument run. This loop will take you past all of the most popular monuments and show you some of DC's most prominent landmarks.
This 7 mile loop first takes you past the Lincoln Memorial, along side the FDR Memorial, around the Tidal Basin, in front of the Jefferson Memorial, up 15th Street past the Washington Monument, down the Mall, past the Smithsonian Museums, up around the Capitol Building, past the Library of Congress, then around and down Pennsylvania Avenue to the White House, passing many DC Landmarks along the way, and finishing up F Street, NW to the Smith Center. In under an hour, you will be able to see all of the sights it takes 8th graders on field trips a whole week to see.
View 3D Map of run here: Google Earth - Monument Run (Long)
For the extreme runner, or the one training for a marathon, this run is a good option. The out and back run can go anywhere from 10 to 15 miles. Once reaching the bottom of Virginia Avenue, NW from the GW campus, you will have the entirety of Rock Creek Parkway to follow the flow of traffic and cruise. This run will take you all the way to Rock Creek Park, passing the National Zoo along the way.
View 3D Map of run here: Google Earth - Rock Creek Parkway
Tip: The National Zoo is free and open to the public, and often times when it isn't crowded, it can be a nice break to stop in and visit your favorite furry friends.