Monday, March 19, 2012

Recapping the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon in the neighborhood: a lot of fun

More runners on Harvard This Saturday, the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon's DC edition came through Columbia Heights, with runners in both the half and full marathon going up Columbia Road, then Harvard Street to Howard University, and from there down 5th, 4th and Bryant to downtown. It was a lot of fun watching it, seeing all the runners, the spectators, and bands -- there was a stage set up at 5th and Harvard, plus others along the route (hence, Rock 'n' Roll.)

I had a friend running so I walked over to 11th and Harvard to check it out, and it was quite the scene. I arrived about 9:15 am, and other spectators said runners had been passing since well before that. There were a few folks with signs for friends, some people just watching, and others were waiting to cross the street-- it was kind of funny seeing people scamper across Harvard when there was a lull in runners, and for the most part they didn't cause any tie-ups.

What was impressive was the sheer number of runners though. Somebody there said there were 50,000 people registered, though I couldn't confirm that. We were there for maybe 45 minutes, and the entire time it was solid runners, as you can see to the right at Georgia and Harvard. Some folks ran in various costumes, especially Irish ones like leprechauns and green tutus, it being St.Patrick's Day. A few others were in various rock and roll gear: Elvises, punk rockers, mohawks, and the like. I think my favorite were two women in tan "nude" suits with clovers in strategic locations. It was definitely good people watching, even those not in costume: some folks had tons of hardcore running gear, while others looked like they had just rolled out of bed. There were a couple kids running and some senior citizens, and some people carrying signs with numbers on them, the pace of the race -- so if you kept up with that person, you'd finish in that amount of time.

Where we were positioned was also interesting: Harvard slopes down to Sherman Avenue, but then there's a big hill up to Georgia. A number of runners saw the hill and either laughed or cursed. Spectators cheered them on, and even the construction workers at the future old folks' home on the corner of Harvard and 11th got into it, cheered and blowing a horn on their crane.

Folks along the race seemed to be having a good time too. On Harvard east of Sherman, people were sitting on their porches, waving signs and playing music onto the street.

We then walked down Harvard to the Howard U. area, as there was a stage at 5th and Harvard. The bands played mostly peppy covers, things like Tom Petty, and most runners seemed to enjoy that. By about 11, most of the runners had passed and we decided to get some food.

In all, a very fun morning in the neighborhood -- although I suspect that wasn't the case for drivers were stuck on the streets nearby, as traffic was pretty backed up on Harvard, Columbia and Irving around Georgia Avenue. Despite that, I hope the marathon comes through again next year. I'll certainly be out there again. And there weren't even any scenes from Seinfeld, as far as I saw.

Here's a few more shots from the race. Click them for bigger versions.

Marathon and house
Harvard hill Going down to 5th

1 comment:

  1. that's our house--we had a great time cheering everyone on up that big hill! i was impressed with everyone...i was exhausted just watching them. yes some people complain about the traffic and inconvenience, but i rearranged my schedule that day and really enjoyed watching the race from our porch. i hope they keep this route in the future.


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