OutRun Adventure//The Potomac
Over the final weekend of the recent government shutdown, a team of brave Roam Fitness athletes embarked on another epic OutRun Adventure. This one, OutRun Adventure//The Potomac, would prove to be challenging on many levels and test the endurance and fitness of our athletes as they crossed the city by multiple modes of transportation. This triathlon from our home base at the Savoy in Glover Park, down to Nationals Park and back would take us on an 18 miles journey by foot, bike and paddle. Already weary of way too many days of government shut down, our OutRunners were seeking outlets for their cabin fever. What better way than to do an OutRun Adventure across the city.
But Mother Nature and the Federal Government shutdown provided challenges existed before the adventure even began. The shutdown had serious implications on the course as many aspects of the original planned route involved use of our national parks in one form or another. Our Potomac River kayak portion had to be moved from the Key Bridge Boathouse, which sits on federal park land, to the Ball Park Boathouse on the Anacostia. Thankfully these boathouses share the same ownership which was very helpful in accommodating the switch. Then there was Roosevelt Island, slated to be the run portion of the adventure, which was closed for business with a locked wrought iron fence ominously blocking access to the island. Ultimately we were able to make all the necessary changes and produce a challenging and scenic route that included fitness stops along the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers.
We departed by bike from the Glover Park under overcast skies and intermittent light rain. Rain seems to be the norm on the adventures, but it wouldn’t put a damper on our crew. We cranked up the music and departed downhill to the Georgetown waterfront, easing our way into the workout. We stopped at the Georgetown Waterfront Park and dismounted for an 8 minute dynamic warm up and stretch which helped loosen up the muscles and get the blood flowing on that drizzly cool fall day. From there the peloton of bikers fell into line and hugged the east bank of the Potomac to a stop at the steps of the leading up to the Lincoln Memorial. As a group, we did multiple sprints up the steps and the team collectively punched out a few hundred push ups between flights of stairs.
We made our way down the waterfront, through the Maine Ave. market past Fort McNair and eventually to the dock at the Ball Park Boathouse where we locked up the bikes and embarked on our kayaks to the next challenge. We had a full spectrum of kayak experience for this part of the adventure. A few had never kayaked before while some seemed to be experienced enough to make the Olympic team. Our first challenge on the water was for the two person boat teams to race to a distant buoy off the tip of Buzzard Point. All the teams seemed to get there quickly, aided by a fairly strong current in the swollen river. On the return, we competed in interval sprint challenges which proved more difficult by the current working against our armada of kayakers. Our final challenge was an Olympic inspired slalom course through some pylons near the base of the Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge. Each team was timed and they navigated in and out of the nearly dozen obstacles. All teams fared well once they got the hang of making sharp turns and competition was close with only 3 seconds separating 1st and 2nd place over a nearly minute long course.
Back at the docks we traded in our paddles and life preservers for our running shoes. We would cover almost 4 miles on the run portion taking us across the Douglass Bridge, up MLK Ave. back across the 11th St. Bridge and through the Navy Yard. Our team challenges on the run included a partner wheelbarrow/fireman’s carry race and a team plank competition. The wheelbarrow/fireman’s carry race, while fun and unconventional, proved exhausting for everyone after nearly 8 passes from one end of the course to the next. The team plank competition at the Navy Yard proved as much mental as physical as competing teams stared each other down eye to eye as they held their plank to the point of failure.
After our loop through Anacostia it was back to the boathouse where we picked up our bikes again and made our way back to Georgetown. On the return we crossed the 14th St. Bridge and took the Mt. Vernon Trail on the West side of the Potomac on the Virginia side. We broke next for a grueling Tabata of squat presses with resistance bands at the Navy-Merchant Marine Memorial at the mouth of the Columbia Island Marina.
Our next feat was to take the peloton of riders up the long hill from the Georgetown waterfront up to Glover Park. It was a particularly steep climb after so many miles logged. We broke up the long uphill climb with a stop at Holy Rood Cemetery for and waterfall burpee challenge. Everyone powered through the exercise with the winners pumping out over 50 push ups within the burpee exercise.
From there we made the last uphill leg in no time, driven by the thought of hot food and dry clothes which awaited us back at the Savoy. We all gathered in the gym and cracked open some well deserved beers as we waited for our burgers to arrive from the kitchen upstairs. We reminisced about the challenges and the new parts of the city we had seen. Lots of cheer and congratulations were offered by all. The team had done it! As a team we completed 18 miles by bike, foot and kayak including multiple exercises. We certainly had some standouts on the OutRun Adventure//The Potomac but in the end everyone was a winner. Congrats to all who made it to this Adventure. We’re looking forward to the next!