Sunday, April 6, 2014

Nike Women's Half Marathon Runners' Guide to DC!


You are headed to DC!   Your months of training are finally coming to an end.
To help out-of-town visitors, I've created the Nike Women's Runners Guide to DC!  See you at the finish line and don't forget to enjoy yourself in our beautiful city!  Read my review of the race from last year so you know what to expect (here).
Look for Expotique Perks: Last year had lots of free samples, free blow outs by Paul Mitchell stylists, dance parties, gait analysis and more! 
Washington Harbour, Georgetown 3050 K St. NW Washington, DC 20007 Get Directions
    Hours: Thursday, April 24: 12:00PM – 8:00PM Friday, April 25: 10:00AM – 8:00PM Saturday, April 26: 8:00AM – 6:00PM
Getting to the Expotique:

Check Out Your Name on the Giant Runners Wall:  Before or after heading to the expotique, don't miss the Nike Flagship store in Georgetown, only a short walk away.  It's so fun to find your name amongst the thousands of runners (it's alphabetical)
and there is lots of great NWM DC gear inside, including the limited edition NWM DC shoes!
3040 M St. NW Washington, DC 20007 Get Directions
    Hours: Thursday, April 24: 9:00AM – 9:00PM Friday, April 25: 9:00AM – 9:00PM Saturday, April 26: 9:00AM – 9:00PM Sunday, April 27: 9:00AM – 9:00PM
Restaurants while in town: You will need to eat while you prepare to crush 13.1 miles!  Some of my favorite DC restaurants are:
Meridian Pint which has a to-die for lentil burger and great rotating beer list.  Get off at Columbia Heights Metro stop on the green line.
Pizzeria Paradiso with locations near the Expo in Georgetown and in Dupont Circle this place has authentic wood fire pizza and you even get a bowl of olives to start your meal! 
Dean and Deluca (Felicity Fans anyone?)  This place has a great coffee bar, great bakery and a hot bar to customize your own meal and is not far from the expotique/flagship store.  It has a great enclosed patio that often has jazz musicians playing.
Matchbox Pizza with locations in Chinatown and Capitol Hill you have two to choose from.  Great brick oven pizza and an awesome (healthy) kids menu! 
SweetGreen has 10 locations through out DC, including one in Georgetown.  This is a great place to go grab lunch or a quick dinner.  Lots of customizable healthy salads, soups, and wraps. 
P.O.V. Lounge to be honest, the food isn't that great, but the view is!  Use this location for happy hour or an after dark drink with your crew for some great views of the Washington Monument and the White House!  We even sat next to Corey Booker once! 
Race time: 7 AM 
Start/Finish  Pennsylvania Ave. NW & 9th St. NW  Washington, DC 20004 Get Directions


Find your corral:  

Best Metro to Take: Archives Station, although Metro Center and Federal Triangle are other options. The Metro will open at 5 AM on Sunday. Parking won’t be available.  Find the best stop based on your corral:  
Popular Cheer Points: If your family and friends stick near the monuments they will be able to see you multiple times along the course- Lincoln Memorial, Independence Avenue, Jefferson Memorial, and Pennsylvania Avenue.


Fuel Up Beforehand: Most hotels will have food out for the runners in the morning, but double check with your front desk just in case.  Otherwise, grab some bagels, granola bars and juice for your room. 
Finish Line:  Try to agree on a place to meet up with your friends and family at the finish line.  With so many people mulling around, cell service will be next to nill.  You could always agree to meet under the marquee of the National Theater to regroup and then head into the finish line shop if you wanted to buy some additional goods, or just head out to brunch from there. 
Head to Brunch to Refuel!  There are so many great restaurants in DC.  There are a lot within walking distance to the finish, but with so many runners and so many spectators, the lines for the closest restaurants will be LONG!  If you are able to, consider taking the metro away from the crowds and eat closer to your hotel or just completely branch out!   
Some of my personal favorites are:
 Busboys and Poets at 5th and K.  Get off at Judiciary Square metro stop on the red line.  They have amazing sweet potato pancakes, fresh squeezed juice and lots of options for vegans/vegetarians. 
Founding Farmers not far from the finish line and 3 blocks from White House.  This is where we ate last year post race, but the wait was at least an hour. 
You can check out this list from the Washingtonian to see if anything strikes you!   50 great breakfast and brunch spots in Washington

Check out all the great museums and sights!  My favorite museum is the Newseum (it's not one of the free ones unfortunately, but totally worth it!)  All Smithsonian Museums are FREE, including the National Zoo.   I love the beauty of the Reflecting Pool and Memorials, and I love paddle boating in the tidal basin. 


  1. Thanks for posting this. I am SO excited to do this. It's my second half marathon :)

  2. I love Busboys & Poets! Another one of my favorites for brunch is Ted's Bulletin, its in the Matchbox restaurant family. Great post :)