Monday, March 19, 2018

Rock 'n' Roll DC Half Marathon - The Race

On March 10th I ran my 48th half marathon in Washington, DC where my running journey began.  I actually got emotional before the start of the race as I realized that I have been running for nine years now and it all began on the streets and trails of DC.  Before this race was called Rock 'n' Roll Washington, DC it was called Rock 'n' Roll USA, which was my 14th half marathon in 2012.  Before Rock 'n' Roll took it over it was the National Half Marathon, which was my 2nd half marathon way back in 2010.  Regardless of the name or company running everything behind the scenes, I would highly recommend this race.

The Expo: 
Being right off a metro stop made it very easy to find and the signage inside the expo made it easy to pick up your bib and your shirt in no time at all.  As always, you are routed through the Rock 'n' Roll merchandise section after you pick up your shirt and prior to getting out to the rest of the expo. I went up and down every aisle but after more than 50 race expos (between half and full marathons), I feel like I have seen it all already. 

Why you should run this race:
  • Several distances available including a 5k, half marathon, and full marathon.
  • Medals for all distances.
  • Large expo right off Stadium/Armory metro station.
  • Emergency contact information printed on the back of your bib.
  • Half and full marathon start line is at the National Museum of American History.
  • Metro is available for the half marathon and 5k start (but not open early enough for the full marathon start at 7:00 a.m.).
  • Finish line is right by the Stadium/Armory metro station.
  • Full and half marathon courses run by the White House, National Mall, Lincoln Memorial, John F. Kennedy Center, Watergate Complex, Rock Creek, Adam's Morgan, Columbia Heights/U Street/Howard University (one of my old neighborhoods), Capitol Hill/H Street (my other old neighborhood), with a finish line adjacent to RFK Stadium. You just can't beat this race course!

  • Plenty of porta potties at the start and along the course.
  • Plenty of water and Gatorade on the course.
  • Plenty of room to warm up and stretch pre-race.  I suggest going on the National Mall to warm up with amazing scenery in the background.  Bag check was along the National Mall as was another cluster of porta potties. 

  • Gracious course time limits.
  • Over 10,000 runners in the half marathon and over 1,800 in the marathon, so you never feel alone even if you are slower like me. 
  • Amazing volunteers and crowd support.
  • Great bands and music to help keep you motivated.
  • Last but not least, great medals at the finish line!

I am completely biased, but this is probably my favorite Rock 'n' Roll race because I get to run through my old neighborhoods and on streets that are adjacent to my old running trails.  If you aren't from DC, this course will take you through a lot of great neighborhoods that you might not otherwise visit.  In areas where there isn't music or crowd support, the scenery is enough to keep you going.  It is just an amazing course and you will find plenty to do while you are in town. 

Because of my strong bias, I wanted to give you a couple other Rock 'n' Roll DC race recaps to read:
Read even more reviews on BibRave