Saturday 2/1/2014 - Rock Creek Park

posted Jan 30, 2014, 8:00 PM by Emily Clay

This week we're heading down to beautiful Rock Creek Park. You don't want to miss this route!

Driving Directions

Meet at 9 AM. The address is just north of the intersection of Leland Street and Beach Drive in Chevy Chase, MD. There are a few small public parking lots. We'll congregate near the small building where Rock Creek Trail forks.  We don't want anyone wandering around DC alone, so if you have a hard time finding it call me (Emily) at 276-492-8603. Sign up for carpooling here.
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The full marathon schedule "only" calls for 20 miles this week, but if you run 21 you will be rewarded with the Lincoln Memorial! Half marathoners: your schedule calls for 13 miles this week - almost your full race distance! Of course, you are always welcome to run however many miles you please, especially since this course is an out-and-back. Here's the route: 

Full Marathon Route
  • Head east from the start on Rock Creek Trail and find Beach Drive. It's mostly closed to traffic on weekends and is frequented by runners, walkers, and bikers.
  • Stay on Beach as far as you can. When it opens to traffic, shift to the adjacent Rock Creek Trail, a paved path.
  • You'll know you're on track when you pass a zoo on your right and loop around a hill (don't follow Beach Drive into the tunnel - cars only!).
  • Stay on Rock Creek Trail as you pass the Kennedy Center on your left.
  • Follow signs towards the Lincoln Memorial. This is your turn-around point (10.5 miles). You'll see the back of it from the Rock Creek Trail.
  • If you're still feeling fresh, cross the road to the monument, charge up the stairs, and admire the view. I'll buy a cup of coffee or cocoa for anyone who shows me a picture of themselves at the top. (This should test if anyone even actually reads these directions!)
  • Trace your steps back to the start.
Half Marathon Route
  • The same as the full route, but turn around at the zoo parking lot on your right, right by the Harvard Street zoo entrance.
  • Since I offered the full marathoners coffee, it is only fair for me to make the same offer to any half marathoners who show me a picture of themselves with a zoo animal. (You will have to walk/run into the zoo to make this happen - follow the signs; you can't miss it.) Of course, this step is optional!
  • Retrace you steps back to the start.

  • Saturday will be much warmer than our last several runs! Dress in layers to accommodate the unpredictable weather.
  • There are several bathrooms and fountains in Rock Creek Park, but fewer as you approach the National Mall. Also, I wouldn't be surprised if the fountains are turned off for the winter, so please consider carrying water.
  • Marathoners definitely will want some calories. Half marathoners may as well. This is a good chance to test out your race day fueling strategy.
See you there!