• We operate subject to the regulations of National Park Service C&O Canal Towpath
  • Masks are required in certain areas when physical distancing cannot be maintained, such as narrow or busy trails, overlooks, and parking lots, but not during active recreation in open areas
  • National Park Service posts updates on its and on the park's social media channels, such as National Park Service Public Health Update page

  • We anticipate full in-person races in September and October

  • 18½th annual
    ACE Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine Institute
    Potomac River Run Marathon & Half



    18½th annual ACE Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine Institute
    Saturday, October 2, 2021 - Start times 8:00 AM FULL Marathon and 9:00 AM HALF Marathon

    In memory of Dean Shulman
    (September 25, 1961 - May 8, 2012)

    Washington Post obituary
    In memory of Dean, from The Book of Jewish Common Prayer

    Wendy Martinez (1983-2018)
    Wendy2   Wendy3

  • On August 22, 2019, Safety And Health Foundation donated $2000.00 to Wendy Martinez Legacy Project
  • On Facebook’s Giving Tuesday, December 3, 2019, we donated $4,000.00 to Buy A Brick Foundation, matched by another donor, and Facebook matched our $8000 for a total of $16,000, a fortune in Zimbabwe
    We invite you to donate also
  • Complete 2019 results | Awards
  • Complete 2018 results | Awards
  • On the historic C&O Canal Towpath  
    Start & finish at Fletcher's Cove, 4940 Canal Road NW, Washington DC

    The Easiest Marathon in America -- Flat course, no road crossings, no turns

    • Open to
    • Registration 
    • We accept the first 350 entrants
    • Entry fees:
      • $50 on or after December 1, 2021
      • $60 on or after January 1, 2021
      • $70 on or after March 1, 2021
      • $80 on or after May 1, 2021
      • $90 on or after July 1, 2021
      • $100 on or after September 1, 2021, if space remains
      • Members of 50 States Club and other supporting organizations and get $10 off
    • No race-day registration, please
    • Entrants receive t-shirt, goodie bag, race refreshments, finisher medal, and post-race picnic
    • Benefits
    • Safety And Health Foundation and its charity partners
    • TeamAfrica.com, Buy A Brick Foundation
    • DC Capital Striders
    • Marathon Charity Co-operation
    • Ethio-American Athletic Association
    • On November 14, 2015, we donated a total of $200 to American Red Cross International Response Fund in Haiti
    • We gratefully acknowledge donations from Silvia Baage, Ryan Mark Elliott, Sean M. Hendron, Angelica R. Hendron, Robert Elghie Johnson, Deborah Jorgensen, Tammy Jeanne Massie, and Dennis James Weipert

    • On October 14, 2014, we donated a total of $100 to American Red Cross International Response Fund in Haiti
    • We gratefully acknowledge donations from Timothy Buckley, Pam Cogas, Jonathan Raymond Terrell, and Gena Feith

    • On November 17, 2013, we donated a total of $100 to American Red Cross International Response Fund in Haiti
    • We gratefully acknowledge donations from Heather Lengel, Silvia Baage, and Mary McDonald

    • On November 17, 2013, we donated $1000 to Philippine Red Cross (address: Bonifacio Drive, Port Area, PO Box 280, Manila PHILIPPINES 1018; phone: +011-63-527-0000, hotline 143; web page: www.redcross.org.ph to support relief efforts after Typhoon Yolanda (international name Haiyan) destroyed Visayas Islands, Bantayan Island, Daanbantayan, Panay, Busuanga Island, Samar Island, and Leyte, where at least 10,000 people are estimated to have died in the city of Tacloban

    • Course
    • Keepers:
    • Awards
    • $250 to 1st, $150 to 2nd, $100 to 3rd overall M/F in the 8:00 AM full marathon -- ALL MARATHONERS must start at 8:00 AM
    • Gift certificates and other awards including SHF desk lamps, sunglasses, and winter hats to 1st, 2nd, 3rd by 10-year age-groups M/F in all four races
    • This race is the third of Safety And Health Foundation's 2020 Grand Prix
    • $100 cash award to everyone who finishes all 3 of SHF's full or half marathons in 2020
    • Directions
    • Fletcher's Cove is two miles due west of Key Bridge at 4940 Canal Road NW, Washington DC
    • From Georgetown, take M Street NW west past Key Bridge
    • At Foxhall Road, M Street NW becomes Canal Road NW
    • Stay left on Canal Road NW
    • The old stone wall continues from Key Bridge to Fletcher's Cove
    • After two miles, you see the stoplight for Reservoir Road NW at the gap in the old stone wall
    • CAREFULLY turn left into the driveway down to free parking for 85 cars in the upper parking lot
    • When the upper lot is full, bear right at the bottom of the driveway into the tunnel under C&O Canal Towpath
    • At the end of the tunnel, bear left to free parking for 200 card in the lower parking lot
    • If both parking lots are full, we post a marshal on Canal Road NW at Reservoir Road NW to instruct drivers to turn RIGHT up Reservoir Road NW to free parking on-street and at The River School

    • Please approach Fletcher's Cove from the east using M Street NW and Canal Road NW from Georgetown
    • Make a left at the stoplight at Reservoir Road to go down the ramp to Fletcher's Cove

    • Please DO NOT approach Fletcher's Cove from the west from Clara Barton Parkway and Chain Bridge onto Canal Road NW
    • From Canal Road eastbound, making the hairpin turn to go down the ramp to Fletcher's Cove is almost impossible

    • Join our Facebook page -- share rides, thoughts, and photos!
    • Parking
    • We have about 300 free parking spaces
    • Please carpool or use our Facebook page to share a ride.
    • Drop-off instructions
    • Parking is limited at Fletcher's Cove
    • If you can get someone to drop you off, or if you take a cab or Uber / Lyft, please ask the driver to drop you off at the top of the driveway
    • Don't go down the driveway and try to turn around, because we want to avoid traffic jams
    • Civil Twilight at 6:28 AM | Sunrise at 6:57 AM
    • Race-day packet pick-up and bag check are at the picnic pavilion next to the farthest east (left-hand) parking lot ("#4") at Carderock.
    • Permanent and portable toilets are in the parking lot straight ahead ("#3") and also the westmost parking lot ("#1").
    • Post-race massage, refreshments, pancakes and pizza picnic, and awards presentation are immediately after the finish line on the gravel ramp (NOT at the picnic pavilion)
    • Logistics
    • Packet
    • Packet Assembly:
    • Help us assemble bib numbers and goodie bags, and get your bib number, t-shirt, and goodie bag early on Thursday, September 29, 5:00 PM - 8:00 PM, Walter Reed Community Center, 2909 16th Street South, Arlington VA 22204 (703-228-0946)

    • Pre-race packet pickup:
    • Friday, October 1, 11:00 AM to 5:45 PM, Pacers Running Store, 3100 Clarendon Boulevard, Arlington VA, across street from Clarendon Metro, free parking at Trader Joe's if you buy something -- includes late registration

    • Race-day packet pickup: Saturday, October 2, 7:15 AM to 8:45 AM -- on-site at the picnic tables at Fletcher's Cove
    • You may pick up someone else's bib number and packet if you bring along a signed note or a printed e-mail message from your friend
    • If you want to change your start time or distance, you MUST inform the registrar when you pick up your bib number on Thursday, Friday, or Saturday
    • We will also have a change chart on the timing table at the start / finish line. No, you can't run a 1:50 marathon. We'll know it's a half marathon. ;-)
    • Pre-Race Dinner
    • Join us for pre-race dinner to continue a conversation that may change the world
    • Friday, October 1, 6:30 PM, at Cosi Restaurant, 1801 North Lynn Street, Arlington VA
    • Dinner tickets are $10 for all you can eat ($15 after October 1)
    • Please register for the dinner by September 30
    • Guest speaker: Gib Leonard, Buy A Brick Foundation, building schools and delivering food and medicine in 6 towns in Zimbabwe (formerly Rhodesia)
    • Host Hotel
    • Start Date: September 29, 2021
    • End Date: Monday, October 4, 2021
    • Last Day to Book: September 8, 2021
    • Host hotel: Sonesta Select Arlington Rosslyn, 1533 Clarendon Boulevard, Arlington VA | Event "SHF Marathon 2" or "2109SHFMAR_001" | $149.00 per night
    • Reserve your room on-line
    • Call 703-528-2222 and ask for group "SHF Marathon 2" or "2109SHFMAR_001"
    • Race-Day
    • Off-site parking options:
    • You may park near Sonesta Select Arlington rosslyn, 1533 Clarendon Boulevard, Arlington VA 22209, and take our Red Top Cab taxi service to Fletcher's Cove.  Round trip taxi rides are $10, pre-paid only Please register for the taxi by Thursday, September 29 for Saturday, October 2
    • Each cab takes four passengers | First cab arrives 6:55 AM and departs as soon as it has four passengers | Cabs continue until last cab departs at 7:15 AM (don't miss it)
    • For ground transportation from the airport or anywhere else in Arlington, you may call Red Top Cab directly at 703-522-3333
    • Driving route map
    • You may park anywhere along Reservoir Road between Canal Road and Macarthur Boulevard, including River School, Bending Lane, W Street, and Hutchins Lane, then walk downhill to Fletcher's Cove | Be careful crossing Canal Road

      Race-Day Announcer:

    • "Showtime Mike" Mebreahtu
    • ShowtimeMike
    • Watch Showtime Mike here on YouTube | and here

    • 7:45 AM -- The National Anthem, performed by MartinGold
      SSG Martin Gold
      , clarinetist
    • 7:55 AM -- Official welcome
    • 8:00 AM -- Marathon start
    • 8:45 AM -- National Anthem
    • 8:55 AM -- Official welcome
    • 9:00 AM -- Half Marathon start
    • Aid stations with water, Gatorade, and friendly faces at
            • The start / midpoint / finish at Fletcher's Cove - Miles 0.0, 13.1, and 26.2 (permanent and portable toilets at Fletcher's Cove)
            • Lock 5 - Miles 2, 11, 15, 24 -- served by Ethio-American Athletic Association and Marathon Charity Cooperation | (portable toilet across C&O Canal) and
            • Lock 7 - Miles 4, 9, 17, 22 -- served by Buy A Brick Foundation www.TeamAfrica.com (portable toilet across C&O Canal)
            • Lock 10 - Miles 6, 7, 19, 20 -- served by DC Capital Striders
  • Spectator access
  • The HALF MARATHON course is out'n'back ONCE
  • The FULL MARATHON course is out'n'back TWICE
  • Watch the race and volunteer at these points:
    •       • Chain Bridge - Mile 1, 12, 14, 25 | Map
    •       • Lock 5 - Mile 2, 11, 15, 24 | Map
    •       • Lock 6 - Mile 2.5, 10.5, 15.5, 23.5 | Map
    •       • Lock 7 - Mile 4, 9, 17, 22 | Map
    •       • Lock 8 - Mile 5, 8, 18, 21 | Map
    •       • Lock 9 - Mile 5.5, 7.5, 18.5, 20.5 | Map
    •       • Lock 10 - Mile 6, 7, 19, 20 | Map
    •       • Turnaround point - Miles 6.6 and 19.7 at Fletcher's Cove, 4940 Canal Road NW, Washington DC
    • Staffed by Buy A Brick Foundation
    • Headphones and water belts
    • Re personal listening devices, we follow USATF rule 144.3.b (Assistance to Athletes):
      The visible possession or use by athletes of video, audio, or communications devices in the competition area. The Games Committee for an LDR event may allow the use of portable listening devices not capable of receiving communication; however, those competing in championships for awards, medals, or prize money may not use such devices.

    • Because we must be able to communicate instructions to you at certain points in our races, we specifically allow wearing headphones during the race, but we specifically prohibit wearing headphones at these points:
    • Start line
    • Aid stations
    • Turnaround 1
    • Midpoint
    • Turnaround 2
    • Finish line

    • Since we offer prize money ($250, $150, $100 for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd M/F), we ask you to follow this rule: if you expect to finish in the money, please don't wear headphones.
    • Because of the specificity of Rule 144.3.b, we must disqualify potential money-winners whom we see wearing headphones or other two-way devices such as cell phones and talking wristbands
    • Sorry about that

    • You may carry water or wear a hydration vest, but won't it slow you down?
    • We have aid stations with water and Gatorade roughly every two miles
    • Post-race
    • Press Room
    • Sponsors: