Thursday, November 13, 2014

The Most Patriotic Scavenger Hunt Ever!

How long does it take to run all the way from historic Fort McNair to the Thomas Jefferson Memorial, from there all the way around the National Park Mall in DC, hitting every national monument along the way, with stops at Lincoln, the White House, and the State Capitol, and then back to Fort McNair?

About two hours, that's how long. (Check it out here.)

Char and I thought this one up a few weeks ago and chose a beautiful and sunny weekend to try it out.

The plan was to do a modified scavenger hunt in the National Park, stopping at every major national monument around the mall to take a selfie for proof that we’d been there, and circle around the entire park before returning to our start point. It was something I'd been wanting to try since I ran the Marine Corps Marathon back in 2010. 

The problem was, who wants to ride home on the Metro with two sweaty, smelly runners?

Luckily, one of the perks of being in the military is having access to fitness facilities located on any American military base in the world. That includes historic Fort McNair, less than two miles from the Thomas Jefferson Memorial.

We hopped an early morning Metro, left a change of clean clothes and shower stuff in lockers at the post’s fitness facility, and took off on our grand scavenger hunt. There were enough other runners, joggers, cyclists, and ... um... unique and free-spirited souls (some very strange people wander about the National Park), that we didn't feel at all out of place. There's even a Strava segment for a sprint up the stairs at the Lincoln Memorial that would be more fun without the crowds.

We capped off the last stop with a pause and photo op at the foot of the Capitol building before finishing the two mile run back to Fort McNair and the waiting showers. 


It was a great way to visit almost every monument around the mall without taking all day and combine that with our fitness goals of pushing our distance running. We did cover almost nine and a half miles that morning.

And the best way to finish off bucket-list run around our nation's capital?

Char's go to choice at Capitol City Brewing Co.
Yup, you guessed it.

Seafood gumbo and fish 'n chips!

Yes, we had to look up on Youtube how to eat crawfish.