Sunrise Running Tour of Washington DC

Hi friends! On Saturday, I was up early for a fun adventure: a sunrise running tour of DC.


My friend Derek, who works in Brand Communications for Brooks, was in town for the Marine Corps Marathon weekend festivities. As you guys know, I’m a Brooks Run Happy Blogger Ambassador, and Derek has been with us on all of the Brooks blogger trips I’ve been on. When I found out he’d be in town this weekend, we made plans to meet up – for a run, of course! This was his very first time in DC (he lives in Seattle), so I knew I wanted to show him a bunch of my favorite sights via our running shoes. Derek had to work at the race expo for Brooks starting at 9 on Saturday, so we decided to meet up at 7 a.m. (oof) at Iwo Jima Memorial, just as the sun was beginning to rise.

Iwo Jima is where both the Marine Corps Marathon and the Marine Corps 10k would finish the next day, and it was already getting set up for the festivities. Derek was running the 10k so it was a nice little preview/heads up about the course’s uphill finish!


I planned out one of my favorite monument/scenery-tastic 6 mile loops for us to do, and we set off towards Memorial Bridge and from there, ran down along the Mt. Vernon trail. Nothing beats this trail at sunrise – the views are always gorgeous.


By the time we left the trail and ran over the 14th street bridge, the sunrise was amazing. What a treat – hadn’t seen one of these for awhile!


Our next stop was a visit to the Jefferson Memorial, including a selfie, of course. Excuse our squinty/half asleep eyes. :)



From there, we ran around the tidal basin to the MLK Memorial.


The trees down around the National Mall are starting to change – love those reds!


We ran around the Washington Monument and down the National Mall, then up into the city to his hotel near Metro Center. By the time we got there, we had covered just over 6 miles. I was considering hopping in a cab back to my car at Iwo Jima, but I was feeling so good and enjoying the run and beautiful weather so much that I decided, what the heck – I’ll just run on back!

After saying goodbye to Derek, I forged on back to the mall, over to Lincoln and the reflecting pool…


And then over Memorial Bridge and back up to Iwo Jima.


I ran right through the finish line for the races the next day, which was fun. :)


I ended up covering 9.3 miles. Wow! Unintentional long run – those are the best. Love those days where you are randomly just really feeling it!


Derek went on to win 3rd place (amazing, right?!!?) in the MCM 10k the next day (pace: 5:29 min/miles – insane)! Guess our shake out run was good luck. ;) Congrats, Derek!!!

As for the rest of the weekend, it was nice and low key! I enjoyed a post-run feast with Matt at home before spending the rest of the day relaxing.


I went out to dinner with some girlfriends on Saturday night, then met up with Matt and friends to carve pumpkins. Here’s mine – “Captain Kitty.” ;)


Yesterday was low key, too – Matt and I took a nice long morning walk, then spent some time going through and getting rid of old clothes. Last night, we went out to dinner with my mom. Solid weekend – felt nice to be home after so much travel lately!

Have a great day, everyone! :)

If you ran the MCM or MCM 10k, how did it go?! I really want to do that race some year… bucket list!

Who else carved pumpkins this weekend? What did you carve?


  1. 1

    HOLY Pace batman! That is crazy that he placed – congrats to him! I love your pumpkin :)

  2. 2

    I carved a moon and stars- pretty basic but it was fun. I had a relaxing weekend at home too- I feel you on the traveling, when I am actually in town all weekend I just want to chill around the house!

  3. 3

    I’m a long-time reader, but this is my first time commenting. I just wanted to say that you took Derek on one of my all-time favorite DC runs. I run this town 5-6 days a week and I swear, it never gets old. The Key Bridge at sunrise, Hains Point when the cherry blossoms are at their peak, the tidal basin in the fall, Rock Creek Park in the rain, all the monuments. It’s just so darn cool! I ran MCM yesterday, and I have to say I was a little disappointed in the execution this year. They added metal detectors for anyone going to the start line (both runners and spectators), but they neither adequately warned anyone about the extra security nor did they have enough metal detectors to accommodate all the people (from what I’ve heard, only six at each of the two entrances). I got in a security line at 6:30 and still only made it into my corral with 5 minutes to spare before the 7:55 start, which is ridiculous. A lot of runners didn’t make it at all and had to start much further back than they should have. Making the start of a race that inexplicably stressful–especially when people are nervous and anxious about the race itself–is really demoralizing. Also, while I didn’t have a problem, my husband (who is a middle-of-the-pack runner) said that a lot of the water stops didn’t have water or Gatorade ready by the time he came through (they didn’t run out, but he had to stop and wait for them to pour it). This is my 6th MCM, and really the first time I’ve had any major complaints, so hopefully they will figure out how to fix these issues for next year!

    • 4

      I totally agree re: DC runs never getting old! We are lucky to be able to run these beautiful streets on a daily basis. So glad you’re out there enjoying it, too! I’m sorry to hear about MCM not being as organized as usual – but congratulations on running! Hopefully by next year they’ll have sorted out the metal detector and water stop issues… not cool!

  4. 5

    This was my 7th time running the MCM and (for the first time ever) I found the organization extremely disappointing. Naturally I expect security before the start, but I arrived at the Pentagon around 6:40 and the was standing in line to go through security until 8! I (along with a few thousand others) missed the start and ended behind the runners running 15+minute paces. The first 10 miles was extremely bottle necked. As a result my pace was close to 2 mins/mile slower than planned — with so many people running there was no way to get around anyone. The race itself, and the supporters were amazing as always, but the beginning was a complete cluster which unfortunately affected the rest of my run.

  5. 7

    Ran MCM, for my second second and second marathon. Finished with a 24 min. PR, and finished at 3:41. Still in shock from it all, but very excited (and exhausted) by the experience.

  6. 9

    I have no pumpkin carving skills!! That’s amazing!! I clearly need a better knife :)

  7. 12

    Love it!! :D

  8. 13

    Your pumpkin is awesome!! I can’t imagine running a 5:29/mile pace…for any length of time! Wow!

  9. 15
    Roadrunner says

    What an awesome way to see DC! And a great pumpkin, too!

  10. 16

    I interned in DC back in college and did quite a bit of running and walking through that city and LOVED it!! That being said, I don’t think I ever did the sunrise tour :) Would love to run with you if I ever visit the city again!!! :)

  11. 18

    As far as I’m concerned there is no better place to run than downtown at sunrise and it’s amazing that it NEVER gets old! I ran MCM this weekend and while I didn’t hit my A-goal, I did get a 15 minute PR!!

  12. 20

    I ran the MCM for my first ever marathon – it was amazing! I loved the whole experience. A marathon was definitely much harder than I ever expected but I’m determined to do another one and qualify for Boston. I also loved DC – so jealous you get to live there all year round!

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