Monday, October 27, 2014

Hopping in at the end of the race

I followed Spencer around Chicago the other week and noted here that experiencing a marathon as a supporter may have been as fun as racing myself -- and certainly less stressful.

I thought I might reprise that yesterday at the Marine Corps Marathon, held, as seemingly always, on a beautiful day.  The course has changed since I last ran it in 2011, now heading up and back on Rock Creek Parkway to a u-turn at the Calvert Street exit.  I left home and headed south through Rock Creek Park, following the crowded bike trail to Calvert Street.

The runners were long through but the course still closed to traffic, so I jumped in.  I enjoyed a solitary run all by myself right down the middle of Rock Creek Parkway.  One athlete was still out there, an older gentleman sure to be caught by the MCM's famous slow-runner bus.  So it was just me and the Marines left cleaning up cups, bottles, and gel-packs from road-side, preparing the road to be re-opened to traffic.  I kept hoping I might catch a few more stragglers, but I was too late or they were too fast.

At the river I left the course and turned west past Thompson Boat House onto Water Street below Georgetown.  Spencer and I ran this stretch on his 18-miler in September.  Instead of turning up into Georgetown I continued to the C&O trail which would, if I followed it, take me north to Bethesda.

Instead I split off to the right and followed the dirt trail through the woods, heading back north through Glover Archbold Park, a sub-part of the Rock Creek National Park.  The trail takes one from the C&O Canal all the way to Tenleytown.

Glover Archbold Park
From where I wound through neighborhoods back home.  12 miles on a beautiful fall day for my only run this week.


  1. You are following my new motto. More running, less training.

  2. A few years ago, while training for Philadelphia, I ran the NY course ahead of the race from mile 7 to the half and home. It wasn't quite as much fun as running miles 7-18 with Spencer, but it was a lot of fun. The roads were wide open. The water stops were in place. The energy was building. Definitely a fun way to feed of a big race.