Running on Vacation in Washington DC - View The Race Blog
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Running on Vacation in Washington DC

Posted by David Hardy
David Hardy
VTR Expert
User is currently offline
on Friday, June 22, 2012
in Training

Over the years one of my favorite parts of a vacation is the sightseeing. Visiting new places, famous landmarks, historical buildings, etc. My preferred way of sightseeing may be different than most. I have always enjoyed running from place to place during my designed "sightseeing tour". Now this is not an official workout. I typically wear a 3 button down shirt, golf shorts, and running shoes.  This is simply mapping out all of the places you would like to see in a city and instead of riding a bus, cab, or rental car I run between each venue. It may be a little unconventional, but luckily my wife is a runner too, so it works for us.

One of my favorite places to go on a "running tour" is Washington DC. I have made this trip with my family several times. In the early years my daughter was small so I would push her in a jog stroller and my wife would run next to me. We would stay in a downtown hotel and map out a route that would take us by the monuments and museums we wanted to visit. Now remember this is not a workout. We would run at a comfortable pace and stop to take pictures and visit the monuments or museums for as long as needed. Once we were done visiting a particular place we would simply start running to the next location. Being the typical runner you know I was wearing a Garmin. That way all of my miles could be didn't think I wasn't keeping track, did you?

Here is one of our Washington D.C. sightseeing running routes

We would start approximately at a hotel 1 mile from the mall and then complete the following "tour":
  • White House >
  • U. S. Capitol >
  • Smithsonian Museums >
  • Run along Reflecting Pool to Vietnam Veterans Memorial >
  • Lincoln Memorial >
  • Korean War Veterans Memorial >
  • FDR Memorial >
  • around Tidal Basin to the Jefferson Memorial >
  • ...then run back to hotel.


White House

This would total anywhere from 8-10 miles of total running depending on where our hotel was located. Would you be drenched in sweat?  Yes.  Would you be tired? Yes. But was it fun?   Absolutely. There is nothing like being able to get place to place by running and not having to worry about traffic, crowds, parking, etc. Not to mention if you like running this is actually fun. My daughter was in the jog stroller so she didn't care at all. Once my daughter graduated from the stroller I can tell you we had to abbreviate our "tours" to a 4 mile version. She actually "trained" one summer to get ready for our trip to DC.

I have done many trips like this one over the years in different locations. I think it is fun and active and eliminates the boredom of trudging from place to place on a tour bus or going back and forth to your rental car and waiting in traffic. You also get a better feel for a new location and get to see different things along the way that you wouldn't see otherwise.  Next time you travel to a new location, consider planning out your own running tour.

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