Taking in the sights of America’s capital city…
Washington, D.C. is quite simply a runner’s paradise.
Picture-perfect views, flat surfaces, wide avenues, oxygen-laden straight stretches through the National Mall and route variety in the bucket load all come together to make it a fabulous place to tread mile after mile.
I enjoyed two runs in the District on August 31 and September 1 — setting off early on two weekend mornings — just as the sun was rising over famous sights such as the Lincoln Memorial and Washington Monument.
My two routes contained elements of the same ingredients and I was struck by the sheer volume of runners that were out and pounding the streets. It was great to see.
That said, given the temperature peaked at around 33°C during each day of my visit — it made sense to beat the heat and grapple with humidity at the crack of dawn instead.
As you can see from the Strava route below, my first run began close to my hotel — which was situated just off of Virginia Avenue NW. From there, I headed towards the Potomac River — passing George Washington University and the Watergate Complex.
Whenever I travel to a new destination, I always take in the map and surrounding areas — so I know roughly where I’m running and what I might be able to see during my workout.
As such, I made sure that I checked out the Watergate Office Complex — formerly the Democratic National Committee (DNC) headquarters — the place at the centre of the 1972 scandal, in which Republicans were later found to have burgled the building — ordered by then President Richard Nixon.
From there, and instead of heading straight through to Georgetown Waterfront, I took a sharp left and followed the Rock Creek Trail path.
I jogged past the Kennedy Center on my left and passed many runners before taking in part of Arlington Memorial Bridge, the Lincoln Memorial, The National Mall, National World War II Memorial and the Washington Monument.
On my second, and sadly final run in the City as part of my visit, I ran towards and around the iconic Capitol Building — the home of the United States Congress.
To get there, I took in the stunning Constitution Avenue and part of the diagonal Pennsylvania Avenue, leading to the Capitol.
It was a simply superb route for a quick morning run and I would also recommend experiencing the West Lawn and Capitol Reflecting Pool, as well as taking in Madison Drive NW and The Mall.
I barely scratched the surface of Washington, D.C.’s glorious running possibilities during my visit, but if you had more time on your side (unfortunately I didn’t), I would really recommend researching the City at great length and taking full advantage of its amazing history.
It really is an oasis of running and I’ll certainly be back.