Although Sunday's District of Columbia Marathon won't be one of the nation's glamor races, it will provide local runners a fine 26-mile, 385-yard tour of Washington's eight wards.
The fifth running of the D.C. Marathon will not be laden with world-class runners. But that really won't matter to the 1,800 runners who are expected to start running at 8 a.m. Sunday at Fourth Street and Madison Drive NW on the Mall.
"This marathon is great . . . " said Jay Wind, a veteran of more than 35 marathons, including four D.C. marathons. "It has a real good finish. With three miles to go, going over the 11th Street Bridge over the Anacostia River, you see the entire city laid out in front of you. It's as exciting coming into Washington as it is seeing the Citgo sign at Kenmore Square in the Boston Marathon."
The athletes will begin on the Mall, proceed to the Lincoln Memorial and north into Georgetown over the P Street Bridge. The next several miles will provide the hilliest part of the course as the race winds through Georgetown, Cleveland Park and then east toward Adams-Morgan before crossing into Northeast near Catholic University at the halfway mark.
The race will continue across the Anacostia River on the Benning Road Bridge and return on the 11th Street Bridge to Pennsylvania Avenue SE, then end back on the Mall.
One good way to see the race will be to watch the start, drive to Dumbarton Oaks in Georgetown at the four-mile point, drive to 8th and F streets NE at the 15-mile point and back to the finish.