As many as 15,000 expected for Nike Women’s Half Marathon on Sunday

A foot race that will behave much like a D.C. tourist will wind its way though the heart of the capital city Sunday morning.

Race organizers estimate as many as 15,000 people will participate in the second running of the Nike Women’s Half Marathon.

The start is at 7 a.m. Last year, the final finisher crossed the line a few minutes short of four hours later.

The race starts about halfway between the White House and the Capitol, at 9th Street NW and Pennsylvania Avenue. The race will head down toward the Capitol, pass in front of it and then head out Constitution Avenue to 9th Street.

There the runners will turn left, traverse the Mall and continue until they reach the Southwest Freeway, where a right turn will take them up to the Tidal Basin. After dashing across the Memorial Bridge into Virginia, they will return to the District and head up almost to Georgetown before reversing course again. Hugging the Potomac, they will glide the full length down to Hains Point, turn as does Ohio Drive and follow it back to another bridge crossing adjacent to the 14th Street bridge.

After a brief jog down Maine Avenue they will retrace their steps up 9th Street across the Mall, dance down Constitution again before turning left toward Pennsylvania Avenue and the finish line.

The prudent driver will avoid the entire area until the race has passed, the paper cups dropped by runners have been cleaned up and the barricades removed. All of the aforementioned streets will be closed until then, and the web of streets around them will back up traffic, too.

A race village where runners can be photographed and buy Nike products is scheduled to keep Pennsylvania Avenue closed until mid-afternoon.

Metro said it will open two hours early, at 5 a.m., and run trains more frequently to accommodate the runners. On the Orange line, free shuttle buses will replace trains between Stadium-Armory and Cheverly. And on the Blue line, buses will replace trains between Stadium-Armory and Addison Road.

Metro said waiting time for Yellow and Green line trains will be three minutes longer than normal Saturday.

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Ashley Halsey reports on national and local transportation.
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