The North Face Endurance Challenge: Washington D.C.

Sunday, April 28, 2019 • Sterling, VA • Course Map

Just a short drive from the city streets, orderly downtown blocks and white stone buildings of Washington, D.C., lie the rocky, hilly tree-lined trails of Northern Virginia’s Potomac Heritage Trail, Great Falls Park and Algonkian Regional Park, where runners converge each fall for the North Face Endurance Challenge Trail Run, a race that includes trail races of 50 miles, 50K and 10K distances in addition to the half-marathon trail race.

Runners in the half marathon start their race at Great Falls Park in nearby Sterling, Va., just over 30 miles from Washington.

From there, runners follow a combination of single- and double-track trails through the forests and hills of the park, much of which is run on dirt trails as well as gravel and a few sections of paved trail.

The race also includes some steep hills and changes in elevation throughout the course, with some sections climbing as much as 300 feet.

Those running in the half marathon portion of the race have four hours on the trail to finish their race, and are encouraged to run only the race that they are comfortably trained for and feel confident they can complete in the allotted time.

More than 1,340 runners crossed the finish line in the half marathon and 10K combined in 2016 — with 824 finishers in the half marathon — and organizers plan to cap the number of entrants for the 2018 half marathon at 750.

Algonkian Park along the Potomac River in Sterling, Virginia. (Photo by Tmmy Phtog/flickr)

Algonkian Park along the Potomac River in Sterling, Virginia. (Photo by Tmmy Phtog/flickr)

Race Weather & Climate

Nestled along the banks of the Potomac River separating Virginia and nearby Washington, D.C., about 60 miles southwest of Baltimore and roughly 110 miles north of Richmond, Sterling typically sees mild to moderately warm weather in June, a month that has brought record temperatures as low as 36 degrees (in 1986) and as high as 97 degrees (in 1988).

On race day (April 28), the average low is 38ºF and the average high is 67ºF.

Past Results

Course Map

See the race route map for The North Face D.C. Endurance Challenge Half Marathon here.

Starting Time

  • 8:00 AM – half marathon, 10K
  • 8:15 AM – 5K


  • $70 – $105 for the half marathon
  • $95 – $130 for the 50-mile
  • $85 – $120 for the 50K
  • $80 – $115 for the full marathon
  • $45 – $70 for the 10K
  • $35 – $55 for the 5K


To reserve your spot in the 2019 running of Sterling’s The North Face D.C. Endurance Challenge Half Marathon, 10K or 5K race, register online at here.

Official Race Website


Ever run in the The North Face D.C. Endurance Challenge Half Marathon? Share your impressions here, or post your review in the Comments below.

See more races in: April, Virginia

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