Roosevelt Island parkrun, DC, USA

Roosevelt Island parkrun route
Roosevelt Island parkrun route. The loop at the bottom left saves some congestion, but it is mostly an out and back.

My seventh parkrun in the US, and first in DC. Roosevelt island is an obvious one for tourists to head to, being on an entirely traffic and cycle free island, and a scenic one, to boot. Staying nearby, I didn’t even have to think about getting there, as I was given a lift to the Key Bridge Marriott just over the river. Of course, I then nearly ballsed it up, running over the first footbridge then forgetting what I was doing. Why am I not on an island? Is that the river I want? The first footbridge, to explain, takes you over the George Washington Memorial parkway (very clearly not a river, but I was on a bridge, and not paying attention), and drops you on to the riverside. You then head along a little way on the Mt Vernon trail (and it is a little way) and cross the bridge to the island itself. From there, a sign took me to the start.

250-parkrun t-shirts
The event director didn’t think they’d seen a 250 shirt before – then today, they got 2.

So, right, idiot. Still, I was there in time, and what else matters? The event director was all excited to see me – he had just welcomed Kevin, their first (he said; I haven’t checked) 250 shirt wearer, and then up I pop. One more needed for the “like buses” ‘joke’, but that did not happen today.

Run briefing
Run briefing.

The route is on the sort of surface you can see above – hard packed, with a few loose stones, maybe the odd tree root sticking up a little, and one or two areas to be slightly careful of your footing round a pothole. It isn’t exactly hilly, nor exactly flat, so never quite lets you go. After 3+ weeks without running, I was feeling frisky, went off too fast, had a halfway decent first mile and discovered the limits of my fitness, to my great chagrin. But no matter, it’s a lovely run. On a hot, humid DC day, the trees at least gave some respite from the sun, and the out and back course allows participants to see each other and offer support and smiles. Afterwards, I chatted with a couple of Irishmen who were on their way home later in the day – one to run a 10-miler straight off the plane. He had also completed all the marathon majors, and in under 3 hours each, which gives him membership of an exclusive club. I don’t wish to stereotype, but he seemed to be very lucky with travel – on two trips that work have organised for him this year, he has looked to see if he could run a marathon or similar on the set weekend, only to find that, yes, it is in fact their major marathon weekend.

The luck of the parkrunner.

DC has several parkruns, and they are generally pretty easy to get to from public transport (so long as, in some cases, you’re happy to walk or run a mile or two at the end), but Roosevelt Island will carry on being right up there for tourists.

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