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ACE Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine Institute 15th Abebe Bikila Day International Peace Marathon & Half


2022 Boston Marathon Qualifier!

  • September 11, 2021 is the final Saturday in 2021 to qualify for 2022 Boston Marathon
  • We submit marathon finisher times to Boston Athletic Association on Saturday immediately after race

ACE Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine Institute with locations in Alexandria, Arlington/ Clarendon, Falls Church / Merrifield, FairOaks / Fairfax, Herndon / Reston, Leesburg / Lansdowne, and Tysons Corner / Vienna in VA  welcomes the Marathoners to ACE Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine Institute Abebe Bikila Day International Peace Marathon & Half, on the C&O Canal Towpath, starting and finishing at Fletcher’s Cove in Washington DC.

When: The Marathon will be held on Saturday, September 11, 2021 at 8:00AM Full Marathon and at 9:00am Half Marathon

Where: C&O Canal Towpath, Fletcher’s Cove, 4940 Canal Road, Washington DC

Registration: Please click here for online registration.

Fee: Registration Fee is $80.00. For Military $70.00

Donate:  Race benefits the following charities:

  • ACE Health Foundation
  • BuyaBrickFoundation (  Stomp Out Malaria program
  • Ethio-American Athletics Association (EAAA,
  • DC Capital Striders (
  • Bring your used shoes: MORE Foundation Group a non-profit organization, provides used athletic shoes to street vendors in Africa providing tools, seeds, and training for the poorest farm families in Ghana.

Directions and Parking: From Georgetown, take M Street west. Bear left at Foxhall Road onto Canal Road. Continue about 1.5 miles to the first break in the stone wall on your left, the entrance to Fletcher’s Cove, across from Reservoir Road. With caution, turn left and go down the ramp into the tunnel on the right and then around a curve to free parking. When the parking at Fletcher’s Cove is full, please turn right on Reservoir Road and park on any of the side streets or on MacArthur Boulevard and take the short walk downhill to Fletcher’s Cove.

General Race Info:

Packet Pick-up::

Race-Day Packet Pick-up:

Saturday, September 11, 7:15 AM-8:45 AM, at Fletcher’s Cove.

We offer check-in for warm-up clothes at the race-day registration table, but no backpacks or duffel bags, please.

When you pick up your bib number, please check your time and distance. If your bib number tag says “9:00 AM” or “8:00 AM” but you want to start at 8:00 AM or 9:00 AM, please tell the registrar to correct the roster and write “8:00 AM” or “9:00 AM” on your bib number. Also inform the registrar if you want to change distances between the full marathon and the half. Both 8:00 AM and 9:00 AM start times are official and can be used as Boston Marathon qualifiers. Competitive awards are reserved for 9:00 AM marathoners, except we present special awards to the first finishers M/F in the 8:00 AM half and full marathon and in the 9:00 AM half marathon.

Race will be timed the old-fashioned way, using the bib numbers rather than chips. So please do not lose your bib number, please wear it visibly on the front of your shirt or shorts, not on your back or sleeve, and please don’t remove the tear-off tag. Those tags will be collected after you finish to score the race.

On Race-Day: Please stay in the registration area until 5 minutes before your start so you don’t obstruct the Towpath. At 7:40 AM and 8:40 AM, join us signing the National Anthem, led by Selamawit Seifu, daughter of 2-time Ethiopian Olympic boxer Seifu Makonnen, founder of this event and one its beneficiaries. Seifu is hospitalized awaiting a kidney transplant, and he can really use your personal prayers, best wishes, and donations for his medical expenses.

At 7:45 AM and 8:45 AM, the race director rings a memorial bell 184 times to remember the 184 victims at the Pentagon in Arlington VA on September 11, 2001. After the bell-ringing ceremony, we walk upstairs to Towpath, where the race director provides final instructions before whistling the start. Please NO HEADPHONES from National Anthem to start, or you’ll miss important instructions.

Course: C&O Canal Towpath is only 12 feet wide, so please be careful. Stay away from the edge near the water. Towpath starts in Georgetown and continues 183 miles west, with milestones every mile. Fletcher’s Cove is about 0.2 miles west of Milestone 3. We run westbound toward Maryland for 6.55 miles, past Milestones 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9. We turn around about 0.75 miles west of Milestone 9. Half marathon course is out’n’back once; full marathon is out’n’back twice. Half marathoners are done upon return to Fletcher’s Cove. Full marathoners are at marathon midpoint at Fletcher’s Cove, then they repeat the course. Our marshals at turnaround and marathon midpoint record bib numbers on clipboards and report to finish line by cell phone, so we know who runs the whole distance.

The course is flat, except for slight rises at Lock 5 and under I-495 Capital Beltway outbound, slight drops at those points on the way back. Each rise is about 20 feet. Those two rises are the only paved segments of the course. With no hills, no turns, no cross streets, and soft surface for 26.2 miles, you can focus on running and have a really good time. The surface is rough gravel, however, so don’t wear thin-soled shoes. I generally wear thick socks when I run on the Towpath. Even in early morning, you see other runners, cyclists, other trail users, and great blue herons. Please always stay to the right and be courteous to other trail users. Please pay attention to Towpath’s Milestones 4 to 9, and we also deploy our own mile signs.

We care about each runner’s safety. If you drop out, an aid station is always about a mile away, and the volunteers at all the aid stations have cell phones, extra vehicles, blankets in case of cold, and cold water and ice in case of heat.

When you finish, continue into the chute and give your tear-off tag to the finish line official. Every finisher gets a medal. Walk downstairs to picnic area for refreshments.

COVID-19 Disclaimer:

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