Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Running tourism: The DC Rock Creek Trail

I spent some time in Washington DC this week and took my first shot at running on the Rock Creek trail. I had never been on it before, for a couple of reasons. First, running on the Mall is just a great experience and I love being amongst the grand monuments and memorials. Second, I never quite knew how to get on the trail or where exactly it was, and since I always knew where the Mall was, I didn't need to really expand my horizons.

I stayed at the Fairmont on 2400 NW N St., and they had this great map in the little in-room list of amenities (like the gym, $15 a day!!!). It was cut out like the shape of a foot and gave out directions and distances, very neat. Anyway, I directed me just a little bit west, barely into Georgetown, where I was able to pick up the trail and run south towards the Mall.

Doing this at 5AM was a little nerve-wracking because there are a couple of spots where the trail crosses offramps coming off the adjacent highway. There are serious blind spots, behind pillars of overpasses, where cars CAN NOT see you until the last second, so it is imperative for runners to check once, twice, and three times before venturing into the crosswalk, because otherwise, the cars will be coming at you at highway speed and have little reaction time. (For my wife, who may read this, I waited patiently until there were no cars coming at all, so yes, I was very safe.)

X marks the spot!
Aside from those couple of spots, it was a very nice run along the water's edge of Rock Creek and right past what I now realize was the Watergate complex. The one other problem I had was that when I came up the Potomac Parkway bridge, I ran towards the Lincoln and WWII Memorials. When I started to head back, I realized that I had not paid attention to how I got off the trail and so I had to turn around and run through the DC streets to get back to my hotel. I paid closer attention the second time and got back just fine.

There is a ton of the trail that heads north, out of town, which I did not get to experience this trip, but I would very much like to experience sometime in the future, when I have time for a longer run, or perhaps the opportunity to bicycle it.

1 comment:

  1. You're right, I did read this. Remind me to pack you a reflective vest that shoots off flares and traffic cones next time you go to DC. Oh, and I'll be sneaking a crossing guard into your carry-on. Safety first!