Overall Rating
Overall Rating (10 Reviews)
3.3
(10 Ratings)(10 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
3.1
SCENERY
3.8
PRODUCTION
3.8
SWAG
3.4
The United Airlines Rock ‘n’ Roll Washington DC Marathon & 1/2 Marathon, known for having the only marathon course contained entirely within the District of Columbia, originated as the National Marathon, in 2006. DC’s iconic landmarks set the stage for a race like no other. Runners enjoy great community support, … MORE
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Recent reviews

    BrooklandRunner FIRST-TIMER '08

    I coached a training group and received a complimentary entry. I had a friend run with me. The course has some hills that are challenging. It was an early marathon … MORE

    I coached a training group and received a complimentary entry. I had a friend run with me. The course has some hills that are challenging. It was an early marathon in my career.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    3

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    BrooklandRunner REPEAT RUNNER '18

    This tied my PR. Great effort on a perfect day. I didn't realize I was so close to my PR. I signed up because I didn't have to travel. I'm … MORE

    This tied my PR. Great effort on a perfect day. I didn’t realize I was so close to my PR. I signed up because I didn’t have to travel. I’m not a huge fan of RnR, but they do put on a decent race.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    4
    My Report
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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    starlingk2003 FIRST-TIMER '19

    This was my least favorite marathon to date, and not just because of my injury. This would have been a good half marathon, and the half was the biggest group … MORE

    This was my least favorite marathon to date, and not just because of my injury. This would have been a good half marathon, and the half was the biggest group of runners. First of all, they are sticklers for making the runner pick up the packet in person. Not unheard of, but certainly annoying. The Expo was at the National Guard armory, and the security to get in made for long LINES outside in the cold and falling snow (not all day long I’ve heard, but certainly when we got there close to closing). I thought the personal pickup was for security purposes, but my lawyer friend pointed out that it’s really about sponsors- they guarantee that every runner will be at the Expo to pick up their bib and so will be there to pass by the vendor booths. Ugh. So it’s about money. So we wait in a LONG line that wasn’t managed well (apparently a shorter line was available for people with no bags to be checked, but no one knew this and it wasn’t said until after a good long while in the cold.) My husband had a pocket knife on him and decided to stand outside in the cold rather than surrender it, (personal choice) and my 14 year old son FORGOT that he also had a pocket knife, and walked right in through security after getting wanded with a metal detector that didn’t go below his waist. So tell me, what’s the point? The shirts they had for sale that I liked were sold out in all but large and larger, so I bought nothing. There weren’t very many other races there represented (advertising upcoming marathons, etc) and just not a very good expo in my opinion. I DID like that they offered actual PACE GROUP COLOR CODED bibs which you could have and wear in addition to your official bib. I did NOT pick one up, and since I didn’t do well, I’m glad that I wasn’t wearing one that said 3:40 as I finished at 5:25.

    The three distances offered all started at different times, and from 2 different locations. I ran the full which started first at 7am. Beyond their control was the fact that the DC Metro which is hemorrhaging money had shortened their hours and didn’t even OPEN until 7am. So anyone doing the full had to find another way. They offered shuttles from the finish point (RFK Stadium) but the last shuttle left at 5:45 am!! That’s a LONG TIME to stand outside in the cold at the start! The chute was typical and the corrals were open, people seemed to honor their assigned corral (any one who wanted to, could change their corral at the Expo anyway). The timing mat for some unknown reason was NOT directly below the large inflatable arch we ran under to start. It was 6 feet BEFORE the arch, so I didn’t get my watch started right on time, but that wasn’t a huge deal just WHY?? The first half of the marathon was not too bad. There were SOME nice DC sights, we ran down Constitution Ave, so you could look to your right and see the White House, and we ran up near the Lincoln Memorial twice. It could’ve been better though. At mile 6 was a HUGE ENORMOUS STEEP hill that I knew was coming from the elev map I had found, but still took my breath away. I was able to run it and not even lose too much time. We ran through Rock Creek Park which was pretty, but the roads weren’t great. Many runners mentioned the potholes in the street. And there were multiple homeless camps under the bridges we ran under. One with furniture even. Several runners tossed their gloves here. Once we got up north of all the sights though, there was NOTHING ELSE good about the course. At. All. It was not beautiful, it was not flat, it was not fast or with tons of spectators. The HALF MARATHON runners who started 90 minutes AFTER us, had a different experience! LOTS OF STREET PARTIES, free beers, fun spectators, etc… At the halfway point is where the course split! The half marathon runners (who of course weren’t with us) would be done but we got to soldier on to the second half of the course which was the WORST half. NOTHING pretty, NOT NICE neighborhoods. A huge hill that you had to climb twice once going and once coming back. switchbacks galore where you get to the end and have to make a 180 degree turn around a cone- at LEAST 3 times we had to do that, LESS aid stations second half, LESS music. Not NONE, but LESS. The 5K had it worst. Their 5K was on the second half of the marathon course. They ran out on a highway across a bridge and turned and came back. NO SIGHTS OF DC WHATSOEVER. The 5K also had ONLY water at their aid station. No gatorade at all. The medals weren’t all that inspiring, and the shirt is just “ok” in my opinion. I finished finally, and we just left. Oh! not many photographers on course either. And at LEAST ONE of them I recognized from like mile 4 or 5 and right near the finish. So they must not have had many bodies to station and shoot pictures. Anyway, that’s what I have to say. I haven’t remembered it all… I don’t really want to remember this one- except to never run it again, unless they redesign the course.

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    2

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    bayna6 FIRST-TIMER '17

    It was nice running through DC and the neighborhoods, but it was so cold that the water at the stops had turned to ice. The spectators were fantastic even with … MORE

    It was nice running through DC and the neighborhoods, but it was so cold that the water at the stops had turned to ice. The spectators were fantastic even with the frigid temperatures.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    3

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    jmskafidas REPEAT RUNNER '17

    What I loved about this race was that you kick of your run next to the Washington monument. You proceed to run towards, maybe not directly in front of, a … MORE

    What I loved about this race was that you kick of your run next to the Washington monument. You proceed to run towards, maybe not directly in front of, a variety of other very notable monuments, such as the Lincoln Memorial. Running over the bridge towards Arlington cemetery was quite amazing as well. Be aware that this is a point-to-point course, not a loop, so have your uber/lyft app ready and be prepared to pay a MASSIVE surcharge to return to the start. Otherwise you’re stuck attempting to funnel into the metro, which has been severally backed up the 2 years I’ve run it with racers all funneling on one line. Kind of leaves you with a sour end of race day.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    3

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    rjgarner527 FIRST-TIMER '18

    Loved the course! Most memorable section is definitely the wear blue Mile. Plenty of aid stations and post race refreshments of water, gatorade, chocolate milk, banana, granola bar, and hummus … MORE

    Loved the course! Most memorable section is definitely the wear blue Mile. Plenty of aid stations and post race refreshments of water, gatorade, chocolate milk, banana, granola bar, and hummus w/pretzels hit the spot! Also liked the option to pick up merchandise upon exit.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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    Trevinds REPEAT RUNNER '08

    I ran this race when it was called the SunTrust National Maration - now known as the Rock 'n' Roll DC Marathon. This race is run entirely in the DC … MORE

    I ran this race when it was called the SunTrust National Maration – now known as the Rock ‘n’ Roll DC Marathon. This race is run entirely in the DC area unlike the Marine Corps Marathon which is run mostly in Northern Virginia with parts going through DC. A pretty flat course so a PR is very achievable. I have also run the Rock ‘n’ Roll DC Marathon and I can say that plenty of fluids are staged throughout the course, and post refreshments/food are plentiful. If someone was to ask me if I recommend the Rock ‘n’ Roll – I would say yes, but would add – “Run the Rock ‘n’ Roll in March, and then try to run the Marine Corps in October. Both Medals, side by side, would be something to talk about and compare.”

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    DrewNYC FIRST-TIMER '17

    This is a typical Rock N Roll race - 2,300 full marathoners & 13,000 half marathoners. The half marathoners started 90 minutes after the full, so there wasn't the usual … MORE

    This is a typical Rock N Roll race – 2,300 full marathoners & 13,000 half marathoners. The half marathoners started 90 minutes after the full, so there wasn’t the usual bottlenecking of the combined races.

    Strangely, there was more security at the expo than at the race itself.

    Very little spectators and the course is fairly nondescript. I had hoped we’d run by more of the famous sites.

    There was a “blue mile” for those men and women of the military who lost their lives while serving. It was the most moving part of the day (even though it was on one of the worst hills of the course).

    At the end, you receive a medal and a finisher’s jacket.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    4

    2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

    M_Sohaskey Mar 18, 2017 at 1:12pm

    Thanks Drew! And congrats on checking off DC. It's too bad this course and the Marine Corps Marathon share minimal overlap, since so many of the well-known DC landmarks lie along the MCM course. But I love the idea of the Blue Mile – from what I've heard, it's almost unanimously considered the most memorable and moving part of the course.

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    HeatherJ FIRST-TIMER '14

    This was the first and only time I've ever taken a ride in the sag wagon! My sister and I ran this with our mom for her first half. Apparently, … MORE

    This was the first and only time I’ve ever taken a ride in the sag wagon! My sister and I ran this with our mom for her first half. Apparently, she wasn’t keen on using the port-o-potty’s before the start, so we had to wait in a line at mile 1. That’s when we got picked up and dropped-off about 1/2 a mile later. We were then back on track to run by several statues, monuments and other iconic places. If you aren’t trying to PR, you can get some great photos.

    My only qualm is that I’m not a big rock ‘n’ roll series fan. Considering the whole premise of this race series is to have the course lined with music, it didn’t exceed or even meet my expectations. It seemed pretty on par with any other race – but at a premium cost.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    2

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    MadelynMarino FIRST-TIMER '14

    This was a typical Rock and Roll race. Big expo, well organized and lots of participants. The first five miles were pretty flat. Then we hit the BIGGEST HILL EVER. … MORE

    This was a typical Rock and Roll race. Big expo, well organized and lots of participants. The first five miles were pretty flat. Then we hit the BIGGEST HILL EVER. It was horrible, but just a blip in the entire course.

    The remainder of the course went throughout the DC area, passing many of the historic sites including the Washington Monument, the White House, and the Capitol building. It was a cool experience running through a city with many cool buildings.

    Overall, I would recommend this half marathon if you are looking for a larger, well organized, race.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    My Report
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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  1. Races
  2. Rock 'n' Roll DC Marathon & 1/2 Marathon