ACe Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine Institute
Abebe Bikila Day
International Peace Marathon & Half


Abebe Bikila Day

Our finisher's medallion features Abebe Bikila
breaking the Olympic marathon finish line tape on September 10, 1980

C&O Canal Towpath at
Fletcher's Cove, 4940 Canal Road, Washington DC

  • Start and finish at Fletcher's Cove, 4940 Canal Road NW, Washington DC, two miles west of Key Bridge and Georgetown
  • About 250 on-ste parking spaces
  • Indoor toilets and two portable toilets at the west end of upper parking area
  • 8:00 AM Marathon (with full awards including cash prizes for top 3 M/F overall and tangible awards for top 3 M/F in 10-year age groups)
  • 9:00 AM Half Marathon (with full awards, no cash prizes, tangible awards for top 3 M/F overall and for top 3 M/F in 10-year age groups)
  • 8:00 AM Half Marathon (with awards for 1st M/F overall and 1st M/F in 10-year age groups)
  • Awards presentation for half marathon at about 10:30 AM and then rolling as age-group winners arrive
  • Awards presentation for full marathon at about 11:30 AM and then rolling as age-group winners arrive
  • Awards (besides the cash awards for the top three M/F in the marathon are really nice warm woolly hats and shiny black padded lunch kits


    2022 FRONT

    Click for full size

    2022 BACK

    Click for full size

  • At the finish, we were greeted by world-famous African singer and song-writer
    11:00 AM to 12:00 noon
    Anna Anna Mwalagho

  • Anna Mwalagho is more than a triple-threat performer. She is a true remarkable renaissance woman, an internationally recognized actress, comedian, poet/spoken word artist, African dancer, singer/songwriter and storyteller.
  • She has won numerous national awards in her native country Kenya, and here in the U.S.A, where she is recognized as the Queen of spoken Afro beat and also "Mama Africa". She has captivated many with her blend of spoken word, African dance, music, comedy, acting, and storytelling into an electrifying one woman show. Her theatrical poetry inspires, evokes thought and entertains as well as educates all ages and races.
  • Her music has a unique message from the soul of the motherland. It tells the story of life rough but fulfilling journeys. Since the launch of her career in the United States, Anna has become one of the most sought after African Spoken Word/Poetic Afro beat artist.
  • With her "Afrofloetry band," she has shared the stage with international South African jazz legend HUGH MASeKeLA in Washington DC where she and her band were the featured opening act. She also had the chance to collaborate with another African musical legend OLIVeR MTUKUDZI, as they performed her famous poem (Flavored World) during his US tour.
  • We were delighted Anna offered to join us this year.


  • Please use THIS FORM to defer your registration to a 2024 race
  • If you choose to defer to 2024, we will send you a free-entry code and instructions to enter your 2024 race
  • Protein bars, bottled juice, and bananas from Trader Joe's, 1108 North Highland Street, Arlington VA 22201 (
  • Pizza from Bronx Pizza, right next to Pacers, 3100 Clarendon Boulevard, Arlington VA 22204 (
  • Past Year's Results
  • Complete OFFICIAL 2022 results, sent Friday, September 23, 2022, to Boston Athletic Association

  • Complete OFFICIAL 2021 results
  • Sent Sunday, September 12, 2021, to Boston Athletic Association

  • Complete OFFICIAL 2020 results
  • Sent Sunday, September 13, 2020, to Boston Athletic Association

  • Complete OFFICIAL 2019 results | Awards
  • Sent Sunday, September 8, 2019, to Boston Athletic Association

  • Complete OFFICIAL 2018 results | Awards
  • Sent Sunday, September 9, 2018, to Boston Athletic Association

  • Complete OFFICIAL 2017 results | Awards
  • Sent Monday, September 18, 2017, to Boston Athletic Association

  • Complete OFFICIAL 2016 results
  • Sent Monday, September 12, 2016, to Boston Athletic Association

  • Complete OFFICIAL 2015 results
  • Sent Monday, September 17, 2015, to Boston Athletic Association

  • Complete OFFICIAL 2014 results
  • Sent Monday, September 15, 2014, to Boston Athletic Association

  • Complete OFFICIAL 2013 results

  • 2006-2012 - This event was a half marathon in past years
  • Photos
  • Join our Facebook page FB

  • Future years' dates:
    • September 7, 2024
    • September 5, 2025
    Running barefoot, Abebe Bikila won the 1960 Olympic Marathon
    Rome, Italy, September 10, 1960

    Wearing shoes, he again won the 1964 Olympic Marathon
    Tokyo, Japan, October 21, 1964 (photo below)

    Read everything about Abebe Bikila's victory Abebe Bikila
    Abebe Bikila

    Abebe Bikila Day 2018 shirt

    Those were the feet
    that accomplished the feat
    of conquering the street
    that ran through Rome
    who robbed his home
    where they sacked
    the obelisk -- but he won back

    © 2018 by Karla McDuffie and SHF
    Abebe Bikila Medal
  • 2022 Race-day photography by Chessie Photo is on-line now

  • Race director Jay Jacob Wind interviewed
    on embilta Radio
  • 2023 Boston Marathon Qualifier! | 8:00 AM start
    • Depending on conditions, September 9, 2023, may be the final Saturday to qualify for 2023 Boston Marathon
    • We submit marathon finisher times to Boston Athletic Association by 9:59 AM on Monday, September 12, 2022

  • Supported by these charities:
  • ACe ACE Health Foundation - supporting wellness on both sides of the Atlantic

  • Buy A Brick Foundation
  • TeamAfrica StompOutMalaria
  • Read about Buy A Brick's Stomp Out Malaria Campaign
  • Read Buy A Brick Foundation's June 2016 report
  • Read Buy A Brick Foundation's letter of thanks for our support
  • View Buy A Brick Foundation's photo album
  • DC Capital Striders

  • Ethio-American Athletics Association

  • Marathon Charity Cooperation
  • GMAP
  • Start and finish at Fletcher's Cove | 4940 Canal Road NW, Washington DC
  • USATF-certified FULL and HALF marathon Boston Marathon-qualifying course DC21001RT | Certificate and Map

  • T-shirt & Medal Design:

  • Start Times:
    • 8:00 AM - Competitive marathon start -- All marathon award winners must take the 8:00 AM marathon start
    • 9:00 AM - Competitive half-marathon start -- All half-marathon award winners must take the 9:00 AM start
    • 8:00 AM - Non-competitive half-marathon start -- A few awards
    • All finishers receive medals and post-race picnic
    • Full marathon is a qualifying race for Boston Marathon
    • Half and full marathon are both qualifying races for Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York City, and Olympic Trials Marathons
    • Change your start time to 9:00 AM or 8:00 AM or distance to full or half or vice versa

  • Course:
    • Totally flat gravel trail, alongside scenic C&O Canal Towpath
    • The half marathon is out 6.5546875 miles to Towpath mile 9.65 (172 yards east of Billy Goat Trail) and back
    • The full marathon is out'n'back twice
    • How to place the mile marks
    • Aid stations with music, water, and Gatorade at 4 junctions with Canal Road & Clara Barton Parkway:
          • Fletcher's Cove, miles 0, 13.1, and 26.2
    • Lock 5, miles 1.8, 11.3, 14.9, and 24.4
    • Lock 7, miles 3.8, 9.3, 16.9, and 22.4
    • Lock 10, miles 5.8, 7.3, 18.9, and 20.4

  • Spectator Access:

  • Sponsors:
  • ACE Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine Institute
  • Seven convenient locations -- if it hurts, call ACE first at 703-205-1233
    Red Top
  • Red Top Cab
  • For convenient pick-up at National Airport or anywhere into / outside Arlington, call Red Top Cab at 703-522-3333
  • Carb Boom! energy gels
  • Read all about Carb BOOM! energy Gels

    Pacers Running Store, 3100 Clarendon Boulevard, Arlington VA 22201 (703-248-6883), and five other locations

    Simone Super energy™
  • Simone Super energy™
  • Technical documentation by Dr. Charles Simone:

    Atref Atref
    Atref Advertisements LLC, PO Box 11797, Alexandria VA 22312 (703-786-6100)

    Publisher: Beitania Balcha | email:
    View our full-page ad in this week's edition of ATReF
    Free at all local ethiopian shops

    Trader Joes

    Metro 29 Diner

    Sponsor Us:

  • Please join us a sponsor
  • Please write us if you want to be an exhibitor or vendor.
  • We announce our exhibitors and vendors two weeks before the race and list them on our t-shirt and web site

    Packet Pick-Up:

  • Thursday, September 7, 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM -- Please help with packet assembly and pick up your packet early
  • ACE Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine Institute, 2841 Hartland Road #401, Falls Church VA
  • Friday, September 8, 2023, 12:00 noon to 5:45 PM | Pacers Running Store, 3100 Clarendon Boulevard, Arlington VA | MAP
  • Saturday, September 9, 7:15 AM to 8:45 AM | on site at Fletcher's Cove, 4940 Canal Road NW, Washington DC

    Race-Day Announcer:

  • "Showtime Mike" Mebreahtu
  • ShowtimeMike
  • Watch Showtime Mike do his thing on YouTube


          Read about Abebe Bikila's Olympic Marathon victory on September 10, 1960, in Rome, Italy, in 2:15:16.2.
        • In addition to becoming a national hero for winning the gold medal, Bikila became famous for running it barefoot.
        • He was the first black African to win an Olympic medal, and in 1964 in Tokyo, Japan, he became the first man ever to win two Olympic marathons.
  • exclusive photos of Abebe Bikila's gravesite

    September 11 Memorial:

  • In memory of the 184 victims killed at the Pentagon on September 11, 2001,
          and the thousands more killed that day in New York and Pennsylvania,
          before the races, we ring a memorial bell 184 times at 7:45 AM and at 8:45 AM


  • To commemorate the anniversary of Abebe Bikila's Olympic Marathon victory in Rome, Italy, on September 10, 1960, and Ethiopian New Year's Day on September 11 each year, we host an international cultural exhibition at the start / finish hosted by Buy A Brick Foundation, building schools and hospital in Zimbabwe (formerly Rhodesia)
  • We fondly remember Abebe Bikila Day founder and two-time Olympic boxer Seifu Mekonnen, founder of this race


  • Specially-cast finisher medals, prizes, and on-course support to keep you pumped up, sponsored food and beverages and much more!
  • You get a whole VIP experience with your victory celebration!
  • We have everything to make this a great event.
  • It is more than a race; it is global event embracing many communities, children and runners at once!


  • $1,000 in cash awards -- $250 for first overall M/F, $150 for 2nd M/F, $100 for 3rd M/F in the 9:00 AM full marathon
  • Gift certificates from sponsors, and SHF warm wooly hats and insulated lunch bags
          for 1st, 2nd, 3rd M/F overall and in 10-year age groups 19 & under, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69, 70 & over
  • We are proud to support Mt. Kilimanjaro Marathon - the world's most challenging marathon


  • We have 150 spaces at Fletcher's Cove's riverside parking area, and we want to leave some spaces for other park users
  • Once we fill all the parking at Fletcher's Cove (maybe 8:15 AM), we direct cars to turn right on Reservoir Road towards free on-street parking, 0.3 to 0.7 miles away
  • Please take our Red Top Cab from Sonesta Select Arlington Rosslyn or car-pool to minimize parking delays

    Off-Site Parking Options:

  • We want as many participants as possible to park off-site, so that we leave some parking spaces available at Fletcher's Cove for the general public
  • Palisades Library, 4901 V St NW, Washington, DC 20007
  • Our Lady of Victory School, 4755 Whitehaven Pkwy NW, Washington, DC 20007
  • CVS/pharmacy, 4859 MacArthur Boulevard NW, Washington, DC 20007
  • Park on Clara Barton Parkway northwest of Chain Bridge. Walk down ramp to C&O Canal Towpath, and walk about one mile southeast to Fletcher's Cove
  • Park across Chain Bridge on Arlington side. Walk across Chain Bridge, walk down ramp to C&O Towpath, and walk about one mile southeast to Fletcher's Cove

    Off-Site Transportation Options:

  • We offer Red Top Cab from our host hotel Crystal City Marriott, 1999 Richmond Highway, Arlington VA, to Fletcher's Cove departing at 7:00 AM on Saturday, September 10, for only $10 round-trip
  • From westbound Clara Barton Parkway, Red Top Cab drops you off at Canal Road and Reservoir Road
        • The taxis do not enter the small parking area at Fletcher's Cove next to Canal Road.
        • If you booked a one-way Red Top Cab, after you finish your race, please ask the announcer to page the crowd for a ride back. Almost everyone who drives to the race goes back via Georgetown and Key Bridge.
        • If you booked a round-trip Red Top Cab, after you finish, please form a group of four and ask the dispatcher (look for the sign near the picnic tabl0e) to call a Red Top Cab for you.

    An SHF 2022 Grand Prix race:

  • If you complete this event (half or full marathon), you are entered in SHF's 2022 Grand Prix Series.
  • $100 cash award to anyone who completes all three SHF half or full marathons in 2022 - May 1, September 10, and October 1


  • Complete results are up'n'running the afternoon of the race
  • Complete results of past years:

  • 2022 results

  • 2021 results

  • 2020 results

  • 2019 results | Awards
  • 2018 results | Awards
  • 2017 results | Awards
  • 2016 results
  • 2015 results
  • 2014 results
  • 2013 results
  • In previous years, the race was just a half marathon.
  • 2012 results | Photos by Karla McDuffie & other photos
  • 2011 results
  • 2010 results
  • 2008 results
  • 2007 results | Photos by Karla McDuffie
  • 2006 results (October 22) | Photos by Karla McDuffie
  • 2006 results (July 16)

    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 the new 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.