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26 (.2) Things to Know About the 2015 Rock ‘n’ Roll DC Half Marathon/Marathon

26 (.2) Things to Know About the 2015 Rock ‘n’ Roll DC Half Marathon/Marathon

Wednesday, March 11, 2015 - 10:26am
26 (.2) Things to Know About the 2015 Rock ‘n’ Roll DC Half Marathon/Marathon

Photo courtesy of Rock 'n' Roll DC.

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  1. You can do it - You didn’t spend Friday nights for the past four moths at home (by yourself and stuffing your face with pasta) for nothing. You’ve got this!

  2. Enjoy the expo and don’t forget your ID - The expo is huge and lots of fun! There’s plenty of free stuff and so many random photo ops your mouth will hurt from smiling. The race also requires that you have a photo ID with you to pick up your bib. Don’t spend too much time on your feet, either.

  3. Take public transportation to the start - Metro will open its doors at 5 a.m. on race day so you can get to the starting line with plenty of time. Federal Triangle and Smithsonian are the closest stations.

  4. There were bananas, bagels and water at the start last year - But get there early, otherwise all the pre-race refreshments will be gone.

  5. Think twice about checking a bag - There's no reason for the extra hassle if you can avoid skipping the extra step on race day. This leads me to my next recommendation…

  6. Donate your clothes at the start - Bypass bag check and just wear some clothes you’re willing to toss at the start line. All of the clothes collected will be donated to local shelters in D.C. Can’t part with any of your running clothes? Take a trip to a thrift shop before the race!

  7. Prepare for all kinds of weather-We’ve had some unpredictable weather these past few weeks. Make sure you’re prepared for any kind of weather and check out DC’s Running Weatherman for updates as we get closer to the race. You should also take a gander at Sophie Greene’s post on what to wear in winter weather.

  8. Stay hydrated - Even though the weather may be cold and feel like winter, hydration is still very important. Luckily, there are water/Gatorade stations every two miles

  9. Get to the bathrooms early - This really goes with any marathon or race but this race in particular never has enough bathrooms. Get in line early! Or, take advantage of the fact that the starting line is downtown and near several coffee shops.

  10. Corrals have never been enforced- Unlike other major races, the corrals are not enforced but it’s highly encouraged to obey the rules.

  11. Don’t cut the course - Just don’t be one of those people. You will be judged.

  12. Give Mr. Incredible a high-five on Rock Creek Parkway-He’ll be there. He always is.

  13. Get ready for a tough hill near mile six - But don’t worry, there’s plenty of down hills to make up it for it in Columbia Heights and Shaw.

  14. There are lots of pace groups - But stay out of the center of the group. Otherwise, other runners may trip over your feet or push you around just to be close to the pacer. Spread out and stick to the outer edge of the group. Half Marathon pace groups: 1:45, 2:00, 2:15, 2:30, 2:45, 3:00; Marathon pace groups: 3:10, 3:30, 3:40, 3:55, 4:00, 4:10, 4:25, 4:40, 5:00.

  15. Metro is on a weekend schedule - Make sure your friends and family who plan to cheer you on plan for that. The best metros along the course to spectate are Federal Triangle (near the start), Arlington Cemetery (near 3.5), Woodley Park-Zoo (near mile 6), Columbia Heights Metro (near mile 7), NOMA (near mile 10), Union Station (near mile 11/14), Archives Metro or Federal Triangle (near mile 15), Waterfront Metro (between mile 16 and 17/19), Navy Yard (near mile 19) and Stadium Armory Metro (near the finish). 

  16. Cheer someone else on - We’re all in this together. Help another runner out if you see them struggling. A simple ‘you can do this’ to another runner goes a long way.

  17. Stay in the middle of the road on H Street - The race is hard enough without a tumble due to one of those darn streetcar tracks.

  18. There’s some bathrooms along the course (especially near the start) - You don’t have to jump at the first opportunity you see a port-a-potty. There are lots of other opportunities to find some port-a-potties with little to no lines along various areas of the course (mostly in the first few miles).

  19. Be tough near mile 18 - If you spend hours perfecting your playlist, plan for the best songs in the most deserted area of the course, around mile 18. The only cheerleaders you’ll have in this area are the cops at intersections (usually checking their phones).

  20. Watch your footing on the bridge near mile 19 - Despite many complaints from runners every year about the open grates on the bridge near the Nats stadium, mats will most likely not be there to protect your feet. So be careful. 

  21. Plan for rolling hills during the last two miles - This is another area of the course you should plan to have your favorite songs come on. These rolling hills come out of nowhere so be ready. 

  22. Don’t count on having lots of fuel at the finish - This is especially important for marathoners. If you need some protein or chocolate milk race for after the race, ask a friend to have some waiting for you at the finish. Big races like these tend to run out of the protein packed refreshments quickly.

  23. Coordinate with family and friends before you finish - The last thing you need after all that hard work is to spend extra energy getting to your friends and family. Pick a meeting spot for the after party with your friends and family. You can scope out the grounds to find a spot when you go to the expo.

  24. Getting home can be hard - The metro will be crowded and you will most likely have to wait a few hours for a cab if you hang out around the expo. If you can make it closer to the Capitol Hill area and away from the craziness, there will be tons of cabs to get you home from there.

  25. Don't miss out on the headliner- Better Than Ezra is headlining this year! Note that the concert is free and open to the public (more incentive for your friends to be cheering you on at the finish line).

  26. Have a beer afterwards - You freaking earned it. Brunching is also highly recommended after a big race. If you finish early enough, you can pop into Bull Frog Bagels on H Street, which is open till 12 p.m. If you can make it to Eastern Market, there’s nothing like re-fueling on some delicious pop tarts from Ted's Bulletin

(.2) Have fun!

About the Author

Jamie Corey is a RRCA certified coach and author of Jamie has completed eight marathons, several triathlons and is currently training for her first Ironman. When she isn't trying to find the best bagel in town, she is usually tweeting at @TheRunster.