DC’s Fresh Start 5K returns to in-person race on New Year’s Day

Scene from 2018’s FITDC Fresh Start 5K/ (Courtesy the D.C. Mayor’s Office)

The 9th annual FITDC Fresh Start 5K brings back its in-person race this Sunday. It’s a fresh start for the District’s New Year’s Day race tradition, which was virtual for the last two years due to pandemic concerns.

“It’s a tradition,” said Delano Hunter, director of DC’s Department of Parks and Recreation. “It’s a great way to kick off the new year with a positive event.”



This year’s event will start at Freedom Plaza in downtown D.C. and continue down Pennsylvania Avenue. In previous years, the in-person runs have been held around the Capitol Riverfront area near the Navy Yard. In 2020, races were held at various schools in all eight wards of the city.

Route for the 2023 FITDC Fresh Start 5K

Route for the 2023 FITDC Fresh Start 5K. (D.C. Mayor’s Office)

“It’s a great way to just start off on the right foot,” said Tomas Talamante, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser’s deputy chief of staff. “We all make our resolutions and health, for a lot of us, is at top of mind. [Especially] coming off the pandemic where we know people are very focused on their health.”

Hunter said the 5K is good for D.C. residents for many reasons.

“Every New Year we’re all taking inventory of our accomplishments from the previous year and we have goals in front of us for the new year,” he said. “Fitness and health is at the top of that list for many of us, so this is an intentional way to declare ‘I am going to start the new year with a fresh start’ by participating in this fun event.”

You can sign up for the 5K online at the FITDC 5K website. You can also register in person beginning at 10 a.m. on the day of the race.

Runners will get a T-shirt and a race bib; those who cross the finish line get a medal. Water, snacks, and music will also greet those who go the distance.

With downtown parking limited, runners are encouraged to take Metro to Freedom Plaza. The Metro Center stop puts you just a few blocks away.

John Domen

John started working at WTOP in 2016 after having grown up in Maryland listening to the station as a child. While he got his on-air start at small stations in Pennsylvania and Delaware, he's spent most of his career in the D.C. area, having been heard on several local stations before coming to WTOP.


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