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Frequently Asked Questions

Where & When

Q: What time does the run start?
A: For most of the year we start at 8:00 am, but during the summer (roughly June thru September) we switch to 7:00 am to avoid the heat. The current start time is always posted at the top of the main SLR page.

Q: If the planned route for the next Saturday morning run says something like "C&O Canal Towpath", does that mean we meet there to start the run?
A: No, we always meet on Saturday mornings at North Meade Street Park across from the Iwo Jima Memorial.

Q: It's hot/cold/rainy/snowy/etc, is the run happening this week?
A: Usually yes, we run rain or shine, but do occasionally make changes or cancellations for extreme weather that could be dangerous. Check the SLR page or the club's facebook / twitter for the latest updates, and unless otherwise announced, the run is on!

Group Organization

Q: Can I just show up? Do I need to be a club member? Is there any protocol?
A: Yes, you can just show up any Saturday, and you do not need to be a club member to drop-in on our group. There is no protocol, except we usually ask if there are any new people just to say hi! If you find that you enjoy SLR and you're returning on a regular basis, we do ask that you join the club, which will give you a number of other benefits including free entry into 19 annual low-key but chip-timed races that the club organizes, ranging from a 1 mile Track Championship, to trail Half Marathon.

Q: Do you have pace groups?
A: Not always, but during the months when we're meeting concurrently with the club's fall Marathon Training Program (July thru October), there will be coaches leading pace groups which you're encouraged to join if you like. For the rest of the year, we do not have organized pace groups, but start together and during the early part of the run tend to naturally self-sort into groups based on how fast everyone is going that day.

Q: How fast is everyone?
A: Most of our year-round regulars do long runs between 8:00 and 10:00 min/mi, though depending on who shows up for a given week there are a few speedsters who run 7:00-7:30 min/mi, and also some on the other end at 10:30+. During the months when we're meeting concurrently with the fall Marathon Training Program (July thru October), there is usually a greater spread of paces, up to roughly 12:00 min/mi.

Q: Should I be intimidated?
A: No, just come and try it out and run your own pace! We're an easygoing group.

Routes & Distances

Q: How long are your "long runs"?
A: Runs are typically about 11 to 14 miles long, unless we're in a marathon build-up mode aimed at fall or spring races when the runs become longer, up to 23 miles at most.

Q: Where does the run go each week?
A: A schedule of upcoming routes and distances is always posted on the SLR page, with links to an interactive map given for each week to help you familiarize yourself with the route in advance. Each week features a route from our extensive SLR Catalog, which lets us keep things fresh for you each week with a large rotation, rather than running the same route over and over!

Q: How do I follow this week's planned route?
A: Each week at the start of the run, the group leaders will talk you through the route turn-by-turn, and hand out cue sheets with directions to help you follow the route. These cue sheets are also posted on our schedule and linked in each week's email for you to read or print out at home if you like. If you have a GPS watch that supports it, you can also download a .gpx file for any of our routes, and pre-load it into your watch's course navigation feature. If all else fails, chat with other folks at the start of the run and find someone to follow who's familiar with the route!

Q: What if I don't want to run the planned distance?
A: No problem, just turn around when you've gone half as far as you want to. There are usually runners going a few miles shorter, and even some maniacs who go further. Depending on your preference, you can either run a few miles before meeting us at the start, or add a few miles at the end. Suggestions on route modification for alternate mileage are often posted in each week's route update.

Q: Should I carry water?
A: Some routes have water fountains available during the run, but this is not always the case, most fountains are turned off during cold weather, and none are guaranteed to be working at all times. To locate water fountains on any route, open the course map link, select map overlay type "OpenCycle" (from "Map", "Satellite", etc. choices), and zoom in a few steps until you see blue faucet icons which indicate fountain locations. We provide year-round post-run drinks to the group, and during the summer we also organize volunteers to provide mid-run drinks (water, Gatorade, and ice) on the course. If you'd like to supplement these sources, ensure that water will be available, or add hydration flexibility, then you should carry your own water.

Post-Run Beverage Volunteering

Q: How do I sign up to volunteer?
A: Take a look at the schedule on the SLR page to see what weeks are available, and email Mike to sign up. Post-run volunteers are scheduled in blocks of at least 2 consecutive weeks, but it's even better if you can cover a whole month!

Q: What do I need to do each week?
A: Each week you're on the schedule to cover, you need to bring re-stocked drink bins with you to the start of the run, and drop them off at our meeting point. If you're also planning to run, give yourself a few minutes extra to park and walk back after dropping off the bins, since the parking lot next to our meeting point is for residents only. You should also plan to pick up the bins after everyone is finished, if you're volunteering again the following week, and also on the week before you begin. Alternate arrangements can be made in advance if you can't be at SLR the week before your volunteer slot starts, but this is the easiest way to do it.

Q: To what level should the bins be re-stocked?
A: About 6 gallons each of both water and Gatorade is a good guideline, keeping in mind that we go through more Gatorade than water each week. Don't worry if you can't find large gallon or half-gallon size bottles of Gatorade, whatever is convenient is OK as long as it's the right total quantity. Make sure there are also enough cups, about 60-80 at least, and a few trash bags to help with cleanup. If the weather is warm, please also bring at least two bags of ice. After you purchase supplies, the club will send you reimbursement for all necessary expenses.

Q: How do I get reimbursed for expenses?
A: Once you've completed volunteering, you can submit your receipts using this form, and the club will send you a check soon thereafter.

Mid-Run Beverage Volunteering (Summer Only)

Q: How do I sign up to volunteer?
A: Take a look at the schedule on the SLR page to see what weeks are available, and email Mike to sign up.

Q: What do I need to do?
A: You'll be staffing a mid-run beverage station, so you need to bring supplies and be ready out on the course before runners start to show up, until the last group passes you. Runners will stop to pour themselves drinks, so you don't need to pre-pour like you would at a race water station. You can bring a cooler, table, etc., if you like, though nothing like that is necessary, so whatever is easiest for you will work. You might want to bring a folding chair if there's nowhere else convenient to sit while you're waiting for runners to pass you. After the last group passes you, please make sure you don't leave any trash behind, and bring any leftover drinks with you to the start of SLR the next time you're there, to add to the post-run drink bins.

Q: Where and when should I set up?
A: You can set up at any convenient location that's about mid-way through the week's route, and if you're not sure where to go, we can help you with suggestions. Either way, email Mike to coordinate this before your Saturday, to make sure everyone knows where to look for you. Once you have a place identified, you should plan for the first group of runners to get there at about a 7:00 min/mile pace, and people will probably start showing up a few minutes after that time. This means that if you're at the 6 mile point and the run starts at 7:00 am, you should be set up and ready at 7:42 am - again, email Mike if you have any questions.

Q: How much supplies should I bring?
A: About 6-8 gallons each of both water and Gatorade is a good guideline, keeping in mind that you'll probably go through more Gatorade than water. Don't worry if you can't find large gallon or half-gallon size bottles of Gatorade, whatever is convenient is OK as long as it's the right total quantity. Please also bring about 100 disposable cups, at least 20 pounds of ice, and a few trash bags to help with cleanup. After you purchase supplies, the club will send you reimbursement for all necessary expenses.

Q: How do I get reimbursed for expenses?
A: Once you've completed volunteering, you can submit your receipts using this form, and the club will send you a check soon thereafter.

 

Upcoming Events

Holiday Relays
Wed, Dec 13th, 2017, @7:00pm
DCRRC Gar Williams Half Marathon
Sun, Dec 17th, 2017, @9:00am
DCRRC Predictions & Resolutions 5K
Mon, Jan 1st, 2018, @12:00pm
DCRRC Al Lewis 10-Miler
Sat, Jan 6th, 2018, @9:00am
Board of Directors Meeting
Thu, Jan 11th, 2018, @7:00pm
DCRRC JFK 20K and MLK 5K
Sat, Jan 13th, 2018, @9:00am
 DCRRlogotypeRRCA member

The DC Road Runners Club is a member of the Road Runners Club of America and is also affiliated with USA Track & Field. We provide a year-round schedule of running events that offer everyone a chance to participate regardless of age, gender, or athletic ability.