SLR: 12 Miles Piney Branch

Hello Saturday Long Runners!

The weather tomorrow looks like the same soup we've been swimming in the rest of the summer, so as always make sure to hydrate and carry water with you during your run! The temperatures are going to get warm a little faster than normal, and as such Marathon Training Program's 10+ Minute Pace Groups will be starting at 6:15. If you normally run with them and want company, meet at 6:15, otherwise I'll be seeing everyone at 7! Tomorrow's route also includes a good amount of running on city streets. Although these all have good sidewalks and clear signals, please please please be careful at intersections and especially around Washington and Dupont Circles! Remember stopping for an extra 30 seconds won't ruin your trianing cycle, but getting hit by a car on 16th Street will. Now let's get into it:

The Route: Back from the dead with construction over, we'll finally be getting a taste of the newly renovated Piney Branch route (strava, pdf, gps). I like to think of Piney Branch as the cool little sister of Ross Ridge: she goes out in Dupont Circle, runs through the gorgeous Meridian Hill Park, and then comes down Rock Creek just like her big sister. Fun fact: Meridian Hill Park gets its name because it is on the exact longitude of the original DC milestone marker in Jones Point Park (which we'll run by in a few weeks during The Awakening route!).

Want Something Shorter? Aside from the usual out and back option, another way to shorten this route to around 8 miles is to take a left onto Connecticut Ave at Dupont Circle and follow it to Calvert Street. Take a left on Calvert and an immediate left on Shorham Drive to go into Rock Creek Park and continue along the RCP Trail as the original route states.

Need a Longer Route? My personal favorite way to add onto this that isn't "out and back on the canal" is to take a right instead of a left when you get into Rock Creek Park and add on a Ross-Ridge loop to make this route 17 miles. Otherwise, just adding on to Pierce Mill is another option for a few more miles!

Thirsty? Unfortunately on my course recon run on Tuesday I discovered the only option for water on this route is the fountain at the Lincoln Memorial around mile 1.7. This route does not go all the way to Pierce Mill and unless you want to add on some miles there is no water in Rock Creek Park. The fountains at Meridian Hill Park are also not turned on (and neither is the cascading fountain for that matter). This is all to say: please bring water tomorrow! Or at minimum, bring some cash and plan on popping into the Dupont Circle CVS for a drink.

Need a Bathroom? Those are also a bit few and far between tomorrow. There are some portopotties that may be available at the Lincoln Memorial depending on the construction. The Dupont Circle CVS is also a good bet in a pinch at mile 3.5. Otherwise there are plenty of businesses on 16th street that may be available, but your mileage may very.

The next club race is the Paul Thurston 4.5 Miler at Burke Lake on August 15th! The Bunion Derby series is rapidly coming to a close, so if you need another race or volunteer credit don't forget to sign up!

Happy Running!


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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.