By Chris Geier
Over the weekend, sixteen brave and determined athletes convened for Roam Fitness' Inaugural OutRun Adventure. The scene was the Benning Road Metro station where we gathered under a light rain early Sunday morning. The start time of 8:00 am at a far off location not well known to most played an important role in determining the make up of the group. Everyone who posted that dreary morning was committed to doing some intense fitness and to exploring a part of the city which they had never been to before, in prefect harmony with the stated goal of OutRun Adventure.
We departed from the Metro station with a light jog up East Capitol Street to the entrance to Fort Chaplin. The music started and the drizzle began to cease as we broke into some dynamic stretching techniques on our way to the trail head. Within moments of dipping into the woods and away from the chaos of the city streets, you could hear people immediately start to say, "I had no idea there was such nature around here!"
Our route that day would take us a along the Fort Circle Park Trail which traverses the ridge-line of Anacostia and is dotted with Civil War Forts built 150 years ago to protect the city from invasion. We broke again at the entrance to Fort Dupont for more intense sets of burpees and lunges. Now fully warmed up, muscles engaged our platoon of OutRunners formed a nice tight pack and took off deep into the woods. After 3/4 of a mile, we found short side route off the trail and we found ourselves at the Ridge Road Recreation Center where we took advantage of some benches for some dips and bridges and the blacktop for some sprint exercises. Light rain started back up as we departed for the trail again but no one seemed to care at this point because we were already drenched in sweat.
As we ascended up the hill to our next stop at the remnants of the old fort at Fort Dupont, we crossed paths with three wild turkeys, a rare sight in city indeed. We broke out some resistance bands for a circuit of upper body band work (presses, rows, over and under exercises). Continuing West, we enjoyed the nicely packed trail and the lush canopy of the deep woods that seemed to keep the light rain from reaching us. We stopped for a well deserved water break at the end of the trail, making a turn down Mass Ave, SE and a right along Fort Davis Drive for a half mile of pavement back the Eastern side of Fort Dupont.
Three miles in at this point, we would begin a long windy trail down, up, across and down again, eventually to the southern entrance to the park at Minnesota Ave. We encountered tons of deer as we entered in an out of open fields, steep trail and heavy foliage, stopping a number of times to do push ups, sit ups and an intense waterfall plank exercise. Ultimately, we made it to a vast meadow which is part of the Fort Dupont Summer Concert venue and glided our way down the 1/4 mile lightly sloped meadow and out of Fort Dupont.
Crossing Minnesota Ave, we ducked into the neighborhood across from the park and took a back exit out of the neighborhood, under I-295 and into a CSX rail yard. We found a some surplus rail timber there to focus on our triceps with some sets of diamond push ups and were off again, heading West now along the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail. We broke shortly thereafter at a expansive ball field to pull out some parachutes for a group parachute run exercise. Thankful to be on flat ground, we ran organized an Indian Run exercises as we ran along the trail adjacent to the Anacostia.
At the Pennsylvania Ave. bridge, everyone could now see where we were and see that our destination, Barracks Row on Capitol Hill, was in sight. A 3/4 mile leisurely pace up Pennsylvania Ave to 8th street and we were done. Completely exhausted, drenched, muddy, thirsty and hungry, we had done it. Nearly 8 miles of adventure running and cross training exercises later, we were ready for our our hard earned reward, brunch. Banana Cafe made for a nice brunch spot, willing to accommodate our group of OutRunners. We also had dry shirts to change into compliments of The North Face Georgetown. All in all, an awesome morning of sweat, rain, dirt, wildlife, hills, exercises and good times. Next one coming soon.....