(Updated at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday) Runners participating in the Capitol Hill Classic can expect an extra boost this year — from the all-women percussion group Batala Washington and the Stuart-Hobson Middle School marching band.
The 36th annual race scheduled for May 17 will have a soundtrack, volunteer organizer Roberta Stewart said. The bands will perform on the eastern end of the 10K course, near RFK Stadium and the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail, which runners previously said was a lull on the path.
“We’re hoping to provide some extra motivation on this quiet stretch of the race,” Stewart said about the 85-woman band that plays samba, reggae and Afro-Brazilian beats.
In another new addition this year, race organizers have added a new training option. When runners sign up, they’re eligible to receive a discounted subscription to the online service Runcoach, which gives individualized training plans and data. The eight-week Moms in Training program offered last year is an option again now.
The fundraiser for the Capitol Hill Cluster School — which includes a 10K, 3K and short fun run for children — is expected to have more than 3,800 participants this year. About 42 percent of the runners last year lived on the Hill, in the 20002 or 20003 zip codes, Stewart said.
The race courses this year will be similar to last year’s courses, with the 10K starting at Peabody Elementary School, passing the Library of Congress and then heading east on East Capitol Street to the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail. It will then loop back to finish at Peabody. The 3K will start at Peabody, do a loop near Stanton Park and return to the school. And the fun run for kids will just lap Stanton Park.
Awards will be given to the first, second and third place man and woman runners, plus the top man and woman finishers in nine age categories. All fun run finishers will get a medal.
Some streets across the neighborhood will be closed May 17. For full information, see the race website.
Registration costs $38 until May 15 for the 10K, $33 until May 15 for the 3K and $10 for the fun run. Prices increase to $40 and $35, respectively, starting May 16.
The scenery — which includes the Capitol Building, Library of Congress and Supreme Court — is what makes the race unique, Stewart said.
“You go by these amazing buildings and then get to go through Capitol Hill,” she said. “It really highlights what makes our neighborhood very special.”
Photos courtesy of Capitol Hill Classic/Djenno Bacvic Photography