A Runner’s Guide to the Nike Half Marathon in DC

Last-minute advice on what Metro to take, the best pre-race meals, and where to get brunch afterward.

The Nike Women's Half Marathon in DC is Sunday, April 28. Local runners who have run the race in San Francisco say to expect mid-race perks and to enjoy the 13.1-mile tour through the city. Photograph courtesy of Nike's Facebook page.

You’ve got your running gear and your bib, and your months of training have finally come to an end. The Nike Women’s Half Marathon is this Sunday, and now all that’s left is for the 15,000 participants to make it to the finish line.

To help both locals and out-of-town visitors, we created this handy Well+Being survival guide packed with advice from local running coaches and athletes. From runners’ favorite pre-race meals to great tips for recovery, we’ve got it all. Read on, and good luck!

Race time: 7 AM

Best Metro to Take: Archives Station, although Metro Center and Federal Triangle are other options. The Metro will open at 5 AM on Sunday. Parking won’t be available.

Popular Cheer Points: Lincoln Memorial, Independence Avenue, Jefferson Memorial, and Pennsylvania Avenue. However, family and friends should consider heading to Hains Point, which is notoriously the hardest part of the race for runners due to lack of spectators.

Get Inspired: Good news! You’re officially in the cool running club. A recent report by Running USA says the half marathon is the most popular race in the US. Local runners share why they love running the 13.1-mile race so darn much.

Fuel Up Beforehand: Local runners shared their favorite pre-race meals, from a hearty pasta dinner to the popular peanut butter and banana on toast.

Look for Mid-Race Perks: Local runners Colleen Lerro and Sandra Grance say they loved the mid-race perks Nike offered at the San Francisco marathon. While DC may not be able to enjoy San Fran’s Ghirardelli chocolate mile, there will be Nuun beverages and Clif and Luna bars at various points. Grance says in last year’s San Francisco race there was a sports-bra exchange around mile eight. We can’t confirm it will be offered in DC, but keep a lookout if you’re so inclined!

Avoid the Dreaded Runner’s Stomach: We’ve got eight tips for avoiding any digestive stress mid-race, including what type of meals to avoid in the days leading up to the big day. Because having to run off-course to the nearest Porta Potty should never be in your game plan. 

Recover After: Once you cross that finish line, it’s vital that you replenish your body with nutrients. The sooner you can eat after the run (and after your stomach settles), the better. Consult our guide of great post-run foods, or check out our food team’s 50 great breakfast and brunch spots in Washington

Thank Your Cheerleaders: There’s no doubt the crowds at the Nike Half will be big and wild. You won’t be able to miss the Lululemon Cheer Squad with their hilarious signs and music at Ninth Street and Independence Avenue, Southwest. 

Prevent Post-Race Blues: Local running coaches and runners explain why our bodies break down after a long race, and offer tips on how to avoid post-race depression. One piece of advice? Try out that workout you’ve been missing so much since training for the half.