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Race for Cure travel tips

The Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, a very popular annual run in Washington, is this Saturday at the Mall. Here are some tips for getting to and from the race course.

Race course
The participants start in waves. Runners are scheduled to start at 8 a.m. at 7th Street and Madison Drive NW. They will head west on Constitution Avenue past the Ellipse and into Foggy Bottom before looping back past the Washington Monument and onto Jefferson Drive along the Mall to a finish line on Independence Avenue south of the Air and Space Museum.

At 8:15 a.m., the walkers start from the Mall at 4th Street NW, then pick up the same route as the runners. The race generally ends about 11 a.m.

Getting there
Bring sunscreen and a water bottle. Parking in this area is very limited, and there are street closings (see below). For participants and spectators, the best bet is to take Metrorail, but see the alert below for those planning to come in from Virginia. The nearest stations to the start are Federal Center SW and Smithsonian on the Orange and Blue lines, Judiciary Square on the Red Line, Archives on the Green and Yellow lines and L'Enfant Plaza on the Blue, Orange, Yellow and Green lines.

The most crowded stations before and after the race are likely to be Smithsonian, Federal Center SW and Archives. Consider using Metro Center, Gallery Place, L'Enfant Plaza or Union Station, even if it means a longer walk. Parking is free on weekends at Metro's lots and garages. Note that the Rhode Island Avenue lot closed recently for construction.

Put enough value on your SmarTrip card or Farecard for the round trip so you don't have to wait in a long line for the fare vending machines.

Metro will open early, at 5 a.m. Saturday, to accommodate the race crowds. The rail system stays open till 3 o'clock Sunday morning.

Orange Line service
A big Metrorail construction project will shut rail service between East Falls Church and West Falls Church this Saturday and Sunday. Free shuttle buses will bridge the gap, but it still means at least an extra half hour of travel time on that portion of the Orange Line.

It would be best not to park at Vienna, Dunn Loring, or West Falls Church, the stations west of the disruption. One option is to driver east to Franconia-Springfield Station on the Blue Line or Huntington Station on the Yellow Line for the rail trip downtown.

Street closings
Police have not yet put out the official schedule, and I'll update this when they do, but here's the usual pattern of closings so you have the general idea:
-- Third Street between Independence Avenue SW and Constitution Avenue NW, from 6:30 a.m. to about 2 p.m.
-- Fourth Street between Independence Avenue SW and Constitution Avenue NW, from 6:30 a.m. to about 2 p.m.
-- Independence Avenue SW between Third and Seventh streets, from 5 a.m. to about 5 p.m.
-- Constitution Avenue NW from 15th Street to 23rd Street NW from 7 to 10 a.m.
-- Madison and Jefferson drives from 15th Street to Third Street from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m.
-- 15th and 17th streets from Independence Avenue to Constitution Avenue between 7 and 10 a.m.

By Robert Thomson  | June 2, 2010; 10:55 AM ET
Categories:  Events  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock, Race for the Cure  
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