Sunday, July 27, 2008

Running in Washington DC

I just had the chance to visit Washington DC in the heat of July for a conference.

Don't know the city at all. And I was only there for a few days. In sum, I love DC.

Two reasons for that sentiment were two gorgeous 6:30am runs.

It's very hot and humid in DC in summer. I went out early to try to beat the heat but still ended up absolutely drenched in sweat each time due to the omnipresent humidity.

Still, I'd love to spend time here. DC has vaulted over SanFran as my #1 favorite US city.

Run #1. Rock Creek Park

Right next to the conference hotel (Omni Shoreham) is this thin ribbon of a park that cuts north-south through DC following a creek.

I could scarcely believe I was in the middle of a major US city. I ran out and back for a total of 5 miles (thereby justifying a trip to the hotel breakfast buffet).

The running path next to the creek near the National Zoo:

The water is remarkably clear for inner city water/drainage:

On a later day, I saw runners training for the upcoming Marine Corps Marathon in this park.

Run #2. The Mall

For the second run, at 6am I hopped onto the DC Metro Red line down to Union Station.

Then, with the sun slowly rising on a beautiful summer's day, and almost no traffic, I ran from Union Station to the Capitol, past the Smithsonian museums, around the Washington Monument, onto the World War II memorial, past the Reflecting Pool with the trees lined the dirt trail, up the Lincoln Memorial steps, turn around and look back across the Reflecting Pool to the Washington Monument and the rising sun. Said good morning to a guard, down the steps and retraced my steps back to Union Station. Under 6 miles total. Most beautiful urban run I've ever done.

The monuments are stunning beautiful in the morning light. Their layout is gorgeous. M. l'Enfant did a great job.

Details. The route I took is in blue:

I took some pictures on the previous day.
(The first two below (as well as the Metro escalator pic above) were taken using an 8mm fisheye lens on a friend's Olympus DSLR: hence the exaggerated, non-rectilinear perspective.)
The Washington Monument:

At the World War II Memorial looking towards the Lincoln Memorial.
(Those trees line the paths I ran on both sides of the Reflecting Pool.)

The Lincoln Memorial:

1 comment:

  1. I agree, DC is great. I'm partial to running along the Potomac starting in Georgetown. Alan in Tucson - BTW are you back in town yet?