Abebe Bikila Day International Peace Marathon & Half



Abebe Bikila Day

International Peace Marathon & Half

Saturday, September 9, 2023
8:00 AM full marathon, 9:00 AM half marathon
Fletcher's Cove, 4940 Canal Road, Washington DC

Enter on-line • Enter by mail • DOCPDF

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-site 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, you will be 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 delighted Anna offered to join us this year, but please fill her hat when she passes it around.

  • Our volunteers are delighted to serve
  • Aid stations:
          • At the start / finish line for timing at Fletcher's Cove, 4940 Canal Road NW, Washington DC
          • At Lock 5 for bottled water
          • At Lock 7 for bottled water
          • At Lock 10 for bottled water

  • We have a turnaround cone and a volunteer at the quarter-marathon mark near Billy Goat Trail outside I-495 Capital Beltway

  • Spectator access:
  • Chain Bridge
  • Lock 5
  • Lock 6
  • Lock 7
  • Canal Center
  • Lock 8
  • Lock 9
  • Lock 10

  • Enjoy an ethio-American lunch on us:
  • Enjera (ethiopian flat breed) from Asni Market, 1045 South Edgewood Street, Arlington VA 22204 | www.yellowpages.com/arlington-va/asni-supermarket
  • Fula (exotic toppings) from Dama Restaurant, 1505 Columbia Pike, Arlingon VA 22204 | www.damapastry.com
    • Fula (the toppings, but hold the beef - these dishes are vegan):
    • Dama Special Shuro Ground roasted split peas simmered in red pepper sauce and flavored with spices | Click photo for larger image | shuro
    • Dama Gomen -- Braised collard greens in spices | Click photo for larger image | gomen
  • Bagels from my favorite bagel shop
  • Bananas from Trader Joe's, 1108 North Highland Street, Arlington VA 22201 | wwww.traderjoes.com
  • Pizza from Bronx Pizza, right next to Pacers, 3100 Clarendon Boulevard, Arlington VA 22204 | www.bronxpizzas.com
  • Past Year's Results
  • Complete OFFICIAL 2022 results | Awards
  • Sent Sunday, September 11, 2022, to Boston Athletic Association

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

  • Complete OFFICIAL 2020 results | Awards
  • 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 | Awards
  • In 2006 to 2012, 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)
  • Photos
  • Join our Facebook page FB

  • Future years' dates:
    • September 7, 2024
    • September 6, 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
  • 2019 Race-day photography by Chessie Photo is on-line now

  • Race director Jay Jacob Wind interviewed
    on embilta Radio
  • Invitation:
    • Perfect for experienced runners, charity trainees, and first-timers
    • Open to anyone who can finish within 6 hours
    • Limited to the first 350 entrants

  • Host hotel:

  • 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
    Healthier Wellness
  • Healthier Wellness
    Healthier is a wellness company located in the DMV, primarily offering IV nutrition therapy services, vitamin injections, advanced blood analysis, and a physician-led weight loss program. We are a female founded and female led company with a mission to help everyone live a little healthier. Our number one goal is to give our clients the vitality to be able to enjoy their lives fully, through optimizing how the body works under stress through IV hydration. IV therapy is a part of a more holistic and natural approach to maintaining health and promoting wellbeing. Behind the company you will meet Doctor Aleksandra Gajer and nurse Sabrina Matias. They are dedicated to helping you live a healthier life and feel great.

    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™
  • www.simonesuperenergy.com
  • Technical documentation by Dr. Charles Simone:

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

    Publisher: Beitania Balcha | email: 7866100@gmail.com
    View our full-page ad in this week's edition of ATREF
    Free at all local ethiopian shops

    Dama Pastry

    1505 Columbia Pike, Arlington VA 22204 (703-920-5620)

    Dama Market and Restaurant

    1503 Columbia Pike, Arlington VA (703-920-3559)

    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, 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


  • www.britannica.com/biography/Abebe-Bikila
          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) Seifu Mekonnen


  • Do you want to help at an aid station or as a volunteer?
  • Volunteer Instructions
  • Write the race director


  • Specially-cast finisher medals, prizes, raffles, 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 to Fletcher's Cove departing at 7:00 AM on Saturday, September 12, 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 2023 Grand Prix race:

  • If you complete this event (half or full marathon), you are entered in SHF's 2023 Grand Prix Series.
  • $100 cash award to anyone who completes all three SHF half or full marathons in 2023 - May 1, September 10, and October 1


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

    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.

    Make checks payable to SHF   611 South Ivy Street, Arlington VA 22204-2429

    By entering this event, I agree, warrant and covenant as follows: I know that running is a potentially hazardous activity. I should not enter or run in competitive runs unless I am medically able and properly trained. I agree to abide by any decision of a race official relative to my ability to safely complete the run. I assume all risks associated with running in this race including, but not limited to, CONTRACTION OF ILLNeSS INCLUDING COVID-19, falls, contact with other participants, the effects of weather, including high heat and/or humidity, the conditions of the road and traffic on the course, all such risks being known and appreciated by me.    Having read this waiver and knowing these facts, and in consideration of your acceptance of my application, I, for myself and anyone entitled to act on my behalf, waive and release National Park Service, RRCA, USATF, Buy A Brick Foundation, DC Capital Striders, Safety And Health Foundation, and all sponsors, their directors, officers, employees, agents; representatives and successors from all claims or liabilities of any kind arising out of my participation in this event even though that liability may arise out of negligence or carelessness on the part of the persons named in this waiver.    I acknowledge that the application fee shall be non-refundable.    I agree that you may use my name and likeness for publicity purposes.


    Signature ______________________________________ (parent or guardian if under 18)


    Name ___________________________________________       Gender [__] (M|F)     Age as of 9/9/2023 [__ __]

    Address _________________________________________       Birthdate ____ ____-____ ____-____ ____ ____ ____ (mm-dd-yy)

    City ST ZIP _______________________________________       Phone ____ ____ ____-____ ____ ____-____ ____ ____ ____

    e-mail ___________________________________________         T-shirt _____ (XS   S   M   L   XL   XXL)         

    Best 13.1/26.2 mi ____:__ __ Where? ________________________               Date _____________________

    enclosed is my entry fee, payable to SHF:

    Fees: Non-Members
    [__] On or after December 1 - $60.00
    [__] On or after February 1 - $70.00
    [__] On or after April 1 - $80.00
    [__] On or after June 1 - $90.00
    [__] On or after August 1 - $100.00
    [__] $10 discount for members of supporting clubs and active-duty military
    No race-day registration, please
    [__] 8:00 AM Full Marathon
    [__] 8:00 AM Half Marathon
    [__] 9:00 AM Half Marathon

    enclosed is an additional tax-deductible donation of $____________ to BuyABrick Foundation

    [_] $5 Local     [_] $10 County     [_] $25 State     [_] $50 Nation     [_] $100 Continent     [_] $250 World     [_] $500 Galaxy     [_] $1000 Universe