Overall Rating
Overall Rating (1 Review)
4
(1 Ratings)(1 Review)
DIFFICULTY
2
SCENERY
5
PRODUCTION
3
SWAG
3
Come enjoy a scenic 5k, 10K or half marathon that will run alongside the Potomac River and check out the waterfalls post race. Race registration does not include the park entrance fee. Walkers and strollers are welcome to attend this event. Fallen Soldiers Memorial 5K, 10K & Half Marathon runners … MORE
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Recent reviews

    seagroves87 FIRST-TIMER '21

    I initially signed up for this race as more of a checkbox race to get a half done in Maryland on a date when it was really the only half … MORE

    I initially signed up for this race as more of a checkbox race to get a half done in Maryland on a date when it was really the only half marathon in driving distance. I didn’t have huge expectations. Basically just that it would be a 13.1 mile race (which apparently is too much to ask for sometimes) but this race surprised me and I actually really enjoyed it. This is also put on by Bishop’s Events. Bishop’s Events puts on cheap, low key, no frills races throughout the DC area. This race takes place on the C&O trail in Great Falls Park on the border between Maryland and Virginia on the Maryland side. Just an FYI they say the park requires for you to pay for parking but if you arrive early no one is there and you don’t have to pay. Bib pickup is morning of and is easy. The shirt was a nice purple color and had the logo of the charity which for this race was the Wounded Warriors in Action Foundation which was appropriate for Veterans day. I feel like Bishop’s upped their shirt game this weekend. Both shirts were nicer than the ones I got in March. Not amazing shirts but solid tech shirts that fit that I will wear. They also gave participants the name of a soldier who died in combat to honor their race with which was a nice memorial day touch. This was one of the larger Bishop’s Events with about 100 participants in the half. There were a good number of people from my half marathon clubs since it was one of the only halfs today which made it more fun than some smaller races. Half marathoners went off in 4 waves based on bib number with waves going off every couple minutes. I was in the last wave. The start went pretty smooth. I was expecting the course to be a boring but pleasant canal trail path but it was absolutely beautiful and amazing. It is on non-technical trail. No trail experience necessary but watch out for rocks. I was in such awe of the surroundings by the falls I may have tripped over a rock and bloodied my lower right leg. Very shallow cuts but scratched up a large area of my leg. Looked worse than it was. Along with beautiful views of the falls there were so many wild animals. Animal sightings is probably my #1 criteria for how much I like a course. I saw several deer, great blue herons, turtles, some ducklings, and lots of butterflies and song birds on the course. And of course I stopped to take pictures. When I put my headphones down I could hearing chirping birds and croaking frogs. It was so nice and pleasant. And also the weather was perfect! Also the half marathon turnaround point was where it was supposed to be to my relief. The course is quite easy with just gradual inclines and declines and only about 300 feet of elevation gain. I marked it 2 sneaker difficulty just to remind you to look out for the rocks! While the course was unexpectedly amazing, the rest of the aspects of the race were just okay. Again this is a cheap, local race that raises money for charity so okay is fine for a race like this. While there were no major production issues, this race is definitely lacking some production elements seen in larger races and this was more evident for a longer race like a half marathon than for the 5K and 10Ks I’ve done with Bishop’s. There were 3 aid stations you passed twice. The first and third had water and gatorade and second had just water. They had cups placed that were filled and also jugs you could get water from which works well. This race though was missing medical which I could have used to help cover my bloody leg. The volunteer at the first aid station was really nice and gave me some napkins to help clean it up but could have used bandages. I had to wait until I finished the race to clean up my leg properly but I did find a use for my Wine Country Shirt as I need a cloth item from my car to clean the dirt and dried blood from my leg. I also would have liked to see porta-potties and some kind of gel or chew on course. But again the basic production aspects were all there and the race was the correct distance and the timing was accurate. Another issue which isn’t really the race’s fault is since this was an open course and a beautiful day the last mile and a half were full of non-race participants and some had very poor trail etiquette so there was a lot of weaving around people but I did make up a fraction of the missing mile from Saturday with the extra weaving. At the finish line you get your medal. These races do not have the best medals. This one was at least a little larger and nicer than some of the other Bishop’s medals I have but one of my worst half marathon medals. It does have the date and race name/distance on the back. There is also some jugs of water and gatorade and usually a box of snacks but the snacks were very picked over today. There was just goldfish crackers which are okay. I thought my finishing time was very good for someone who ran 2 other races this weekend including an almost half marathon 2 days ago, injured themselves in the first half a mile of the race and took like a million pictures of wildlife. I actually ran about the entire course. I think I only walked for about 1 minute which is the least I’ve walked in a half marathon. Overall this isn’t the best produced or most exciting race but the course was gorgeous and the registration very cheap and you got exactly what you paid for. This was about half the price of the disastrous Virginia Wine Country half I did on Saturday and overall a much more positive experience and much more bang for your buck. I think even if the Virginia Wine Country Race was the correct distance, this still would have been a better race and was definitely more scenic. This isn’t the race to do for Maryland if you want a large, high energy race with great swag but if you want a convenient, cheap, no frills race that showcases a beautiful part of the state this turned out to actually be a pretty solid option and not just a checkbox race. I would definitely consider doing this race again or another Bishop’s event on this course.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    3
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    M_Sohaskey Jun 03, 2021 at 9:18pm

    Nice photos! This does look like a really pretty course. Sorry to hear you went home with a painful keepsake, though I'm glad Saturday's race shirt came in handy to… MORE

    Nice photos! This does look like a really pretty course. Sorry to hear you went home with a painful keepsake, though I'm glad Saturday's race shirt came in handy to help clean the wound... and here you thought you'd never use that shirt 😉. Nice too that you were able to honor Memorial Day in a meaningful way. Hope your leg is healing quickly; sounds like you picked a good time this weekend to double up on the 5Ks! LESS

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