SLR: 21 Miles - The Big Loop

Hello Saturday Long Runners!

We're back to our e-mails as usual, sorry for the technical issues the past couple of weeks! Tomorrow's weather looks absolutely lovely, with temperatures in the upper 30s and some sun (don't worry though, this is a well-shaded route). As a reminder, our last SLR cancellation for the Snowball Series will be next weekend for the Langley 8K. Love this model? Hate this model? Let me know, this year we're experimenting with cancelling SLR For Snowball Series, but that doesn't have to be permanent. Now let's get into it:

The Route: In terms of DC Running, The Big Loop (strava , gps , pdf) might be the most famous long run route of all time. It also happens to be one of my favorite routes in the area, but don't just take my word for it, Christie Wetzel , Coach Big Guy , and many others are also huge fans! We'll embark on a journey up Rock Creek Park, cross Maryland via Leland St (which does turn a few times as mentioned on the cue sheet, when in doubt follow signs for Leland!!), and finish all the way down the Capital Crescent Trail. Running this loop is a big accomplishment (pun intended) and no marathon training cycle is complete without it! I also always shorten this route to 20 miles and end at Baked & Wired(the best cupcakes in DC) for some cupcakes afterwards as a celebration in getting through a tough route.

Want Something Shorter? The Bethesda Metro Station around mile 13 is a great midway point to ensure you get all of the fun hills in this route for a few less miles on the back end! If you're looking for something other than a metro route or an out and back in Rock Creek Park, the wonderful Ross Ridge Loop is a great way to get 14 miles in, take in the sights of Rock Creek, and still have company for a good chunk of the route.

Need a Longer Route? For a couple extra miles, continuing down through Georgetown and across the Memorial Bridge instead of the Key Bridge will add a couple miles to an already long day! Honestly, though, 21 is generally long enough for what you're training for!

Thirsty? There are some great water options every 5-8 miles along this route, so bring a bottle but expect some nice filling points! My favorites are at mile 5.5 just before you get on Beach Drive, along the Capital Crescent around mile 15 before the little bridge near the water treatment center, and at Fletcher's Boathouse around mile 17.7 as a good last fill before finishing out strong! As these runs get longer, fueling becomes more and more important! Don't forget to bring a few gels tomorrow so you're still feeling strong on that long downhill!!

Need a Bathroom? Those also come roughly the same frequency as the water fountains! Mile 5.5 just before getting on Beach Drive has two different sets of bathrooms (pro tip: going up the hill by the community garden and Mill gets you private bathrooms instead of the multi-stall ones). There are additional bathrooms along Beach Drive in Rock Creek Park every 1-2 miles, keep your eyes out for them along the side of the road near the various picnic areas! There aren't a ton of great options along the Capital Crescent trail aside from Fletcher's Boathouse at mile 17.7, but there are a few gas stations along the way that make a good stop in a pinch!

Gar Williams, the inspiration for the Club's December half marathon and hall of fame member for DCRRC and RRCA passed away on January 15th 2024 in Flagstaff Arizona. He was instrumental to the club's history. His family recommends anyone who wishes to donate in his memory does so to the RRCA.

The next club race is the Langley 8K next Saturday, and SLR will be cancelled. We're also still in need of volunteers! Zensah has also donated gloves for the overall female and male top finishers. If my comparisons to the Club Challenge with the Hills wasn't enough, now you can also win gloves!

Happy Running!



Upcoming Events

DCRRC Bluemont 5K
Wed, Jul 24th, 2024, @7:00pm
DCRRC and PVTC Meet of Miles and Family Night at the Track
Sun, Aug 11th, 2024, @4:30pm
DCRRC Paul Thurston 4.5 Miler
Tue, Aug 13th, 2024, @6:45pm
DCRRC Steve Thompson 8K
Sun, Aug 18th, 2024, @7:00am
DCRRC 3+mile Cross Country Race, Kids' Races and Club Picnic
Sat, Aug 24th, 2024, @4:00pm
Book Club
Sun, Sep 8th, 2024, @4:00pm
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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.