Last year a group of 40 runners informally gathered together to run to a dozen embassies along 13 miles in DC on EU Open House Day.
Due to the popularity of the event the run expanded into an organized event doubling the number of runners.
The event included a fundraiser at Lebanese Taverna for We Are Family as well as run to raise money for Nepal relief.
In previous years, the run started in Georgetown at France or Germany and ended at Van Ness in Austria. But this year, it made sense to run the opposite direction.
Angelika Schweiger, Cultural Officer at the Embassy of Austria, recommended we start the run in Austria and run downhill – the hills on Connecticut were long and steep so it made a lot of sense.
So we started at Austria with a quick jolt of Red Bull to start the day. Slovakia for folk music and dancing. Then a run past the Howard Law School to the Royal Netherlands Embassy for Pancakes, Dutch cheese and the obligatory Heineken. After Czech and Hungary where we met some very cute Hungarian Vizala dogs, we took off on a long run to Adams Morgan for some tapas, wine and a taste of Spanish culture.
In Finland we got a VIP tour of the greenest Embassy in the US and was warmly greeted by Ambassador Koukku-Ronde and her staff.
Since we were ahead of schedule, the British Embassy was kind enough to accommodate many of us for a tour the Ambassador’s Residence and Gardens.
In Denmark we met many happy Danes who shared with us their culture. Then we took off through the rugged Dumbarton Oaks Park into Georgetown.
Everyone was looking forward to Germany. The beer, brats, music and view — the experience was amazing and the view of Rosslyn and the Potomac River was quite stunning.
Finally we ended at the House of Sweden along the beautiful Georgetown waterfront.
What good run ends without beer – so after a day of Heineken and Hefeweizen, we strolled over to Mr Smith’s of America for Bud Lite, Miller and Yuengling.
It was great time to meetup with the rest of the runners, share stories, experiences and smiles.