Tips for Runners and Spectators for the 2013 National Marathon

Posted March 13, 2013 at 6:03pm


Kicking off race weekend is the Health & Fitness Expo, which takes place at the D.C. Armory on Thursday and Friday. All runners must attend to pick up their race bibs. It is free and open to the public.

Getting there:

The Metro will start operations at 5 a.m., which is two hours earlier than the normal Saturday schedule. The five Metro stops within a mile of the start line are: Federal Triangle (orange/blue rail lines); Archives-Navy Memorial-Penn Quarter (green/yellow); Smithsonian (orange/blue); Metro Center (red/orange/blue); and McPherson Square (orange/blue).

For runners getting dropped off by car, there are two designated “drop-off” points near the starting line at 14th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest and 14th Street and Independence Avenue Northwest.


Because half- and full-marathon runners start in the same corrals, a word of wisdom for full marathoners: don’t get distracted by the half-marathon runners who are going out too fast. They have half the distance you do.

For runners who like crowd support: Get pumped up for the music at Howard University, but then be prepared for the desolate stretch sans spectators down North Capitol Street. Crowd high points are in the first few miles on the National Mall and through Adams Morgan, Howard and near RFK Stadium.


The finish line festival and post-race concert featuring Cowboy Mouth at RFK Stadium is free and open to the public.

For spectators who want to drive to the finish: The marathon is sharing RFK facilities with ShamrockFest (slainte!), so parking will be extremely limited. Those who wish to drive to the finish line are encouraged to purchase a Premium Parking Pass on the Rock ‘n’ Roll website for $20.

More information can be found online at