Summer fitness events in the D.C. area: boating, climbing, biking, running, yoga and more


It’s free to canoe and kayak during Paddle Nights on the Anacostia River. There are 25 dates to choose from (at five locations) this summer. (Amanda Voisard/The Washington Post)

June 6

There’s no better happy hour deal in town than Paddle Nights on the Anacostia River: It’s absolutely free to take a canoe or kayak out for a spin. There’s no catch, just a hope that experiencing the beauty of the scenery firsthand will inspire more Washingtonians to care about the waterway. “We’re really trying to foster a connection between Anacostia and the people around it,” says Lee Cain of the Anacostia Watershed Society, which organizes the program. June 6’s event at Ballpark Boathouse is the first of 25 Paddle Nights throughout the summer, each at one of five locations. Boats are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Ballpark Boathouse, Potomac Avenue SE and First Street SE; June 6-Sept. 25, 5-7:30 p.m., free; 301-699-6204, anacostiaws.org/get-involved/recreation/paddling/paddle-night. (Navy Yard)

June 6-7

No matter your cycling level, there’s a race for you as part of the Air Force Association Cycling Classic. The two-day series attracts some of the country’s top pros, as well as lots of kids — there are events for ages 9 and younger both Saturday and Sunday.
Clarendon, June 7, 8 a.m.-2:30 p.m.; Crystal City, June 8, 7 a.m.-3 p.m.; cyclingclassic.org. (Clarendon, Crystal City)

June 14

The American Lung Association brings its signature fundraiser, the Fight for Air Climb, to the area for the first time this year. Climbers can tackle the 28 floors of the Hilton Alexandria Mark Center either once or twice. “This will make you appreciate your lungs,” ALA’s Kira Koon promises. It’ll also make you appreciate the work of firefighters, several of whom will be participating in their full gear.
Hilton Alexandria Mark Center, 5000 Seminary Road, Alexandria; June 14, 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. (participants will get a wave time 72 hours before the event); lung.org/pledge-events/va/alexandria-climb-fy14.

June 14

Flex on the Mall is a CrossFit-esque competition that invites teams of four to work out near the Washington Monument. There are three divisions for athletes: Rx, Scaled and Strive. For Rx, you need to be able to do handstand pushups. For Scaled, you need to be able to pushups. And for Strive, you don’t need to be able to do anything.
17th Street SW and Independence Avenue SW; June 14, 8 a.m.-4 p.m., $350 per team; 530-409-7806, flexeventshq.com/2014-5-more-info. (Smithsonian)

June 20-22

When Health magazine and Cooking Light team up, you get the Fit Foodie 5K, a race series that’s debuting in three cities this year. Fairfax is leading the way with a buffet of events dedicated to sprinting, sipping, stretching and snacking. There’s a Friday night bash, followed by the Saturday morning race. Start Sunday with either yoga or boot camp, then brunch.
Mosaic District, 2910 District Ave., Fairfax; June 20, 6:30-9 p.m., June 21, 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., June 22, 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m., $35-155; 619-312-1212, fitfoodierun.com.

June 21

What’s sexy, according to Black Girls RUN!, a national group dedicated to fighting obesity among African-American women? Biomechanics, stretching and foam rolling. The Preserve the Sexy Tour offers workshops for runners on those topics, followed by an African dance party.
Key Bridge Marriott, 1401 Lee Highway; June 21, 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., $20 ($25 after June 7); blackgirlsrun.com/ptst/tou-stops/washington-dc. (Rosslyn)

June 21

What better way to celebrate the summer solstice than with a heck of a lot of sun salutations? The Oneness Festival offers up a day of yoga classes (for both adults and kids), workshops and vegan food trucks. The night wraps up with a dance party.
Yards Park, 355 Water St. SE; June 21, noon-8 p.m., $30 ($45 on-site), kids ages 12 and under free; onenessfest.com. (Navy Yard)

June 21

You better hydrate before Washingtonian’s first Fit Fest, a day of wellness activities for women. The slate includes tons of group exercise classes (yoga, Pilates, cycling and more) taught by some of the city’s most popular teachers. Fitness experts, doctors and running coaches will be on hand to give advice.
American University Bender Arena, 4400 Massachusetts Ave. NW; June 21, 9 a.m.-2 p.m., $25; washingtonian.com/ tickets/fitfest. (Tenleytown)

June 28

The zombie-themed obstacle race that Max Bawarski started two years ago has been phenomenally popular. His fiancee told him that a dessert-centric race would do even better. “And she’s always right about everything,” says Bawarski, an elementary school physical education teacher. That’s why runners at his newest event, the Ice Cream Race, will be taking on a 5K course that resembles a sundae that’s gone nuts. There will be a slide that’s coated in actual chocolate and a pit covered in banana peels. There will be foam machines to approximate the experience of drowning in whipped cream. And, of course, at the finish line, there will be ice cream (plus sorbet). Want a second chance to be a winner? There will also be ice cream eating and costume competitions.
Bull Run Regional Park, 7700 Bull Run Drive, Centreville, Va.; June 28, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. (waves start every 30 minutes), $69 ($79 after June 15); theicecreamrace.com.

July 11-13

British folding bike manufacturer Brompton is hosting its 2014 U.S. Championship in D.C. The main draw is a 15K, but the event also features several other races, including a competition for fastest bike folder. Dress code: “All participants, both male and female, must wear a suit jacket, collared shirt and neck tie.” And a helmet, too.
Near RFK Stadium (visit bicyclespacedc.com for details); July 11-13, $75; bromptonuschampionship.com/busc2014. (Stadium-Armory)

August 1-3

You could spend thousands of dollars on a spa getaway to experience a weekend packed with trendy fitness classes. Or, you could copy what the professionals do, and head to the DCAC Fitness Conference. It’s three full days of cycling, Zumba, aqua aerobics, Piloxing and many things you’ve never heard of that will make you very sore.
Hyatt Regency Reston, 1800 Presidents St., Reston, Va.; Aug. 1-2, 7 a.m.-6 p.m.; Aug., 3, 7 a.m.-1 p.m., $269-$329; dcacfitness.com/events-locations/washington-dc.

This Summer, No Excuses

Sweat the workout (but not the price) with these free outdoor exercise sessions. Given our average summer temperatures, you’ll be dripping before the warm-up even starts.

The Yards Park hosts Vida Fitness instructors through the end of August.
-V-Boot Camp: Mondays and Wednesdays 6:30-7:30 p.m.
-Boot Camp: Tuesdays 7 a.m. and Saturdays 10 a.m.
-Sunrise Yoga: Thursdays 6:30-7:30 a.m.
-Sunset Yoga: Tuesdays 5:45-6:45 p.m.
-Vinyasa: Fridays noon-1 p.m.
-Zumba: Thursdays 5:30-6:30 p.m.
Yards Park, 355 Water St. SE; yardspark.org. (Navy Yard)

Crystal City offers Zumba on Wednesdays at noon through Sept. 24, and yoga Mondays at 7 a.m. through Sept. 29.
Zumba: Courtyard at 2121 Crystal Drive, Arlington; Yoga: Crystal City Water Park, 1750 Crystal Drive, Arlington; crystalcity.org. (Crystal City)

National Harbor hosts fitness classes on its plaza every Tuesday (yoga), Wednesday (Zumba) and Thursday (kickboxing) at 7 p.m. through Sept. 25.
National Harbor, 137 National Plaza, National Harbor, Md.; 301-203-4170, nationalharbor.com.

Instructors from several studios lead a yoga class at Meridian Hill Park every Sunday at 5 p.m. through the end of August.
Meridian Hill Park, 16th and Euclid streets NW; bikramyogadc.com/schedule-fees/yoga-in-the-park.

Dupont Circle is where you’ll find Lululemon’s Yoga in the Park every Wednesday at 6 p.m. through the end of September.
Dupont Circle; 202-518-4075, facebook.com/lululemonlogancircle. (Dupont Circle)

Farragut Square hosts Yogalates on Tuesdays and Pilates on Thursdays at 5:30 p.m. through June 19.
Farragut Square Park, 17th and K streets NW; goldentriangledc.com/events/pilates-in-the-park. (Farragut West)

Franklin Square will see the return of Workout Wednesdays — weekly 5:30 p.m. classes led by instructors from Crunch Fitness — starting June 18 and running throughout the summer.
Franklin Square, 13th and K streets NW; downtowndc.org. (McPherson Sq)

Click to read the whole summer guide!

Vicky Hallett is a MisFits columnist and the Fit editor for Express.
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