A Running Tour of DC

On Saturday morning, I led my high school BFF Jenny and her husband Dan on what I called my “greatest hits” running tour of DC – a 14 mile route that included nearly all of my favorite running spots/loops in the area. What a fun way to spend a Saturday morning!


Jenny and Dan were originally planning to head back to Georgia (where they live right now for Dan’s medical residency) on Friday, but Jenny had a 14 miler on the docket for marathon training and I convinced them it would be worth their while to stay and run it around DC with me instead! :)


The weather cooperated beautifully and DC was showing off its very finest blue sky for the occasion.


14 miles was a new distance record for Jenny, as this spring will be her first full marathon (she’s doing the Atlanta Marathon in March, and Dan will be running it with her to pace her). She was nervous about the distance, so I wanted to make sure our running route was as awesome as possible. We’ll make it fun, I told her – don’t be nervous!



I mapped us out a big loop that incorporated nearly all my DC favorites (with the exception of Rock Creek!) and we kicked things off at my apartment, heading down towards Rosslyn and the Mt. Vernon Trail, which we picked up right by Key Bridge.


Every time I run on this trail I’m reminded how lucky I am to have easy access to such beautiful running areas!


Once on the trail, we chatted away, enjoyed the views, and settled in. For pace, Jenny said she wasn’t sure she could do faster than abut 10:30 minute/miles – but I knew she could, especially with nice views and distracting conversation. We settled in comfortably around 10 minute/miles and she said she was feeling good. I was so proud of her!


After running along the water for awhile, we reached Memorial Bridge, which we ran over towards the National Mall/monuments.


We ran past the Lincoln Memorial and down along the reflecting pool – another favorite running area of mine.


I also busted out a mocha Clif Shot Gel around this point. (We shared some Cytomax Energy Drops along the way, too, and I wore my Nathan HPL Hydration Vest and lent Jenny my CamelBak.)


We passed the Washington Monument and ran down the mall all the way to the Capitol.


Once there, we did a loop around it to make sure to enjoy all the beauty. :)


And then ran back along the other side of the mall. Hey, Smithsonian!



We stuck to the left side of the mall and then crossed over the street to see the MLK Memorial and to run around the tidal basin, another favorite run route of mine.



We ran all the way around it to the Jefferson Memorial.


We need to work on our Washington Monument leaning photo skills. ;)


We took a loop around Jefferson (which I’d actually never done before – pretty!):


Ran around the rest of the tidal basin back to near where we started, then jumped off onto Hains Point, running back towards Memorial Bridge. Jenny was still looking and feeling strong – so proud of her!


We ran back over Memorial Bridge a little while later and back down onto the Mt Vernon Trail, running north back towards Roosevelt Island, which was to be our final stop on Anne’s “DC’s Greatest Hits Running Adventure Tour.” ;)


Jenny hadn’t run on Roosevelt Island before – I was happy to introduce her to it!


We were almost to mile 13 by this point. So close!


I love running Roosevelt Island – I hadn’t been on it since summer I don’t think since it’s usually too dark out there in the early winter weekday mornings.


When we crossed the bridge, we headed to the right and did a big loop around it. We stopped when Dan’s watch (I totally forgot to wear mine – good thing I’d already mapped out the route!) hit 13.1 miles, to commemorate the new distance record territory for Jenny! :)


Just after finishing our loop and exiting the island, we sprinted out the final 0.2 miles (love doing this – ends the run on a high note!) and reached our goal: 14 miles!


Woohoo!! A new distance record for Jenny. SO proud! She rocked it – much faster than she thought she could do it, too! :)


What a fun way to spend a couple hours on such a beautiful winter Saturday. :) I’m so glad they were able to stick around a few extra days for this run! It was a good challenge and a lot of fun for me, too. Nothing better than your best friend, a beautiful day, and gorgeous views, huh? I hadn’t done a run longer than 8 miles since since my own first full marathon – the Richmond Marathon last month – so it felt great to get back out for a longer loop again and I was pleased I felt good the whole time, too. :) Stay tuned, btw – I have some exciting running-related news coming up soon!

Have a great day, everyone, and happy almost New Year!


  1. 1

    That looks like it was an awesome run! So much fun, and beautiful sights! I am glad you had more luck with the cliff shots than I did! Not sure I will ever have one again….but glad someone can enjoy them! Would love to know the loop you did for when I visit my friend in DC every few months!

    • 2

      I love the Cliff shots! I’ve been eating them (and occasionally the espresso Hammer Gels) for years. I only like the mocha flavor though!

  2. 3

    What a nice weather you have!
    Greetings from the Czech Republic, where it is just slightly above zero… :-)

  3. 5

    Ahh that looks like such a great run! Sad I am running before I’ve worked up to that distance. Will have to come back and do it when I can run that far :)

  4. 6

    Wow what an awesome running route!! Makes me want to come do my long runs there! :)

  5. 7

    Hey Anne! Where exactly is the bridge to Roosevelt Island if you’re coming from Courthouse/Rosslyn area? I’ve driven by the island but have never run on it; it looks awesome!

  6. 9

    Jenny looks GREAT for just having a baby! Woot, woot! So great that you kept her company and motivated her.

  7. 11

    you sound like really great running buddy/motivator :) Beautiful pictures by the way

  8. 12

    That’s awesome! Congrats to your friend for all her training and getting a personal ruining distance record! :)

  9. 13

    That looks like such an awesome run! You’re so lucky to be able to run past so many historical and beautiful sites everyday. It makes me want to move to DC ;-) And congratulations to Jenny!!

  10. 14

    All I’m thinking aside from the beautiful photos is how did she run in long pants!

  11. 16

    Love that you called in the “greatest hits” run, that’s awesome to have for when people visit. I should figure out something similar. Of course I love running by all the things in your photos! :)

  12. 17

    Well done! Jenny, you are going to kick ass in Atlanta this spring! :)

    • 18
      Jen Robinson says:

      Thanks it was fun- but hard. Good thing about running with a friend is you keep going even when you want to whine and stop :)

  13. 19
    Roadrunner says:

    Well done to you and Jenny and Dan. What a wonderful place to run!

  14. 20

    Having picturesque surroundings really does help keep you motivated.
    Seriously, HOW AMAZING IS DC?
    This would definitely be on our bucket list of runs.

    Thanks so much for sharing. We’re looking forward to reading more of your posts in the New Year.

    My Virtual Mission

  15. 21
    Jen Robinson says:

    Such a gorgeous run and a gorgeous day for it! I’ll be missing it for sure when I do my 16-miler in Macon this coming weekend. I’m going to try really hard to ask around for some more scenic run. Suggestions- I think I’ll seriously die of boredom if i have to do 16 miles on sidewalks!

  16. 23

    Amazing run Anne! Definitely the best way to see DC!


  17. 24

    Hey =)

    That looks gorgeous! What an amazing run!

    I have just started running more seriously and am absolutely loving it! I am training for my first marathon and it is so fantastic to challenge myself and see my body achieve things that I never believed possible. I was wondering if I could ask you a question about running and food though please? I was just wondering at what distances I should start taking in additional food and how much should I add please. I always eat before I run regardless of how far I am going (Usually a banana and 1/2 a cup of almond milk. I am useless without it!) but am not sure when I should add in extra carbohydrates during my training. My longest runs are currently about 21 kms and I want to keep increasing my distances, but want to fuel myself properly for these. Any advice you could offer would be much appreciated.

    Thank you so much!

    Libby =)

    • 25

      Hi Libby – I’m so glad to hear you’re loving running! I’d love to help you with sports nutrition, but I don’t provide personalized advice unless you’re one of my nutrition counseling clients. If you’re interested, just let me know! More info:

  18. 26

    Looks like an awesome run. I have only been to DC once, and oddly enough it was for my first marathon (Sun trust National marathon…now a RNR race I think). But I don’t remember many of the sights along the course. I would love to make a trip to DC and have a chance to run around there…hmmm the wheels are turning!

    You are a great friend for planning an awesome route and running with her to help ease any fear she may have over the distance! Nice work!

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