SLR: 18 Miles Rock Creek MBT

Hello Saturday Long Runners!

Snow in the forecast again?! Looks like we're supposed to get somewhere between zero and six inches, depending on your confidence levels and preferred weather channel. The one thing they can agree on is some form of precipitation falling overnight tonight, which means if we do get some snow it likely won't be cleared by the time SLR begins tomorrow. For now, we'll still plan on Rock Creek MBT, but depending on the conditions may have a last minute change. As always, stay safe tomorrow and make the best decisions for you and your upcoming races, remember missing a long run or a workout is a blip on the radar, but slipping on ice can completely derail your training. As another aside if it is a snowy wonderland tomorrow, remember that you use different muscles when running on snow and ice than you do on dry pavement, and those muscles may not be up for 18 in the morning or may be weirdly sore afterwards. Enough about the weather, now let's get into it:

The Route:I know I say very often that the route we're doing is my favorite (getting people excited is kind of my job after all), but if you really made me choose Rock Creek MBT(strava, gps, pdf) takes the cake. We'll head up Rock Creek Park to Beach Drive then turn right onto Blagden Ave up a long hill (with a strava segment or two on it ;) before making our way to Gallatin Street. We'll cross the city via Gallatin (be mindful that although Gallatin is a relatively low-trafficked road we will cross some major throughways like Georgia and New Hampshire Ave) then head down the Metropolitan Branch Trail to the Capitol. From here we'll complete our perfect loop of DC by running across the Mall to the Memorial Bridge and back to the park via the cemetery.

Want Something Shorter? Another favorite route of mine (and seemingly everyone else as well) is Ross Drive, which will allow you to stay with the group for the first sixish miles before continuing up Beach Drive and coming back down Ross Drive and Ridge Road for a 14 mile lollipop loop. Funny enough, we missed Ross Drive earlier this year for snow, so maybe we'll luck out this time. There are also a plethora of metro stops down the MBT and along the Mall that makes bailing after 9 miles easy enough!

Need a Longer Route? If 18 isn't enough for you, returning across the 14th Street Bridge and coming up the Mount Vernon Trail to Rosslyn will add another two miles for an even 20. For even more, add on an out and back or a loop of Ross Drive in Rock Creek Park for some extra miles and some extra hills.

Thirsty? There are water fountains at Peirce Mill (mile 5) that claim they're freeze-proof that we can put to the test tomorrow. Otherwise there are some options along the MBT that I believe are open year round, but with the impending weather you really never know. What is for certain is that the fountains along the Mall are off and the ones inside of Union Station are on. The safest bet, of course, is to bring water, or risk eating some snow!

Need a Bathroom? Peirce Mill around mile 5 and Union Station around mile 14 are my two go-tos along this route. There are also usually some portopotties outside of the Dew Drop Inn, which can be a gamechanger in a pinch!

Signups for the Club Challenge closed yesterday, but signups for the bus are still open if you haven't yet! Registration for the Club Banquet is also open! Come celebrate the club's achievements from the past year and hear from an excellent lineup of club members who had exceptional achievements in 2023. If you know of someone who would give a good 5-10 minute speech on their past year, reach out to me! We could still use one or two more people to fill out our already stellar lineup! The next club race is the Burke Lake 12K! Signups are open!

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.