Registration and Packet Pickup
MCRRC members: Register for free on race day. If you already have a club-issued bib and timing chip, wear them. Otherwise, you can pick them up at the registration tables. (If you have not picked up your chip yet, bring a $5 deposit.)
Non-members: Register online for $21.90 ($20 race fee + $1.90 online processing fee) through August 2. (You can register in person on race-day morning but, because there is no runner limit, you could be waiting in a lengthy line. Pre-registering also means we can't misread your handwritten entry or mistype it to the computer. We want your name spelled correctly in the results!) At the race site, you will be given a bib and timing chip. The chip must be returned immediately after the race.
Everyone: Registration and packet pickup open at 5:30am. Try to arrive no later than 6am to help us get everyone through registration and packet pickup.
Course and equipment logistics require that runners not exceed 15 minutes per mile. Do not attempt Riley's Rumble if you are not confident of completing the course at that pace.
Runners must be at least 16 years old on race day.
The USATF-certified road course (scale map, elevation, certification map) starts as an out-and-back. If you miss the turnaround, you get to cool off in Little Seneca Lake. On the way back, there is a short out-and-back leg so you can burn off extra energy before the last 3 miles to the finish.
There are no awards. There are no finisher medals. You won't need a finisher medal to remember you have done Riley's.
Watermelon, cookies, and other food will be available at the finish.
We promise no t-shirts to clutter up your overflowing closet.
Water, Gatorade, and ice will be provided approximately every two miles along the course and at the start/finish. Gels will be available at water stop #3 (mile 6 at the Taylor School). Popsicles will be provided just after the turnaround between mile 8 and 9. (Popsicle Protocol: Just before the turnaround, yell out your color preference and after the turnaround, the volunteers will have it ready for you!)
There are portapotties at the start/finish but not along the course. Beware of venturing off-road - poison ivy is rampant in the forest.
This race would not be possible without our wonderful volunteers. (See photos at left for just a hint of how crucial volunteers are. PS: Notice that they're all having a good time. This could be you!) Sign up as soon as possible using the volunteer signup form. SSL credit is available for middle and high school students.
Typically, Riley's weather is hot, humid, and sunny. Prepare accordingly. (Drink plenty of fluids before, during, and after the race. Adjust your pace and expectations.) If it is raining, prepare to get wet.
In the event of dangerous conditions (lightning, excessive heat, etc.) the race may be delayed, canceled, or turned in to a fun run (i.e., times and places will not be recorded) at the discretion of the race directors. In the event of a cancellation, we will post updates to mcrrc.org, our email hotline (mcrrc-alert), and our phone hotline (301-353-0200).
Results and Photography
Results and photography from the race will
be available through the MCRRC
home page. This sometimes takes several days to resolve
any issues, so be patient. To contribute photos,
or post them to our facebook wall.
Archives of earlier years are available through mcrrc.org or by direct link (results, photos).
Location and Directions
The race start line is at the South Germantown Recreational Park - Maryland SoccerPlex, located at 18031 Central Park Circle, Boyds MD.
From I-270, take Exit 15B (Route 118 South) toward Germantown. Continue on Route 118 for 2.8 miles to Richter Farm Road and turn right. Take Richter Farm Road 1 mile to Schaeffer Road and turn left. The park entrance is 0.3 miles on the right.
There is plenty of free parking at the SoccerPlex. Nonetheless, we encourage carpooling to minimize parking hassles and to preserve our environment.
Headphones are allowed; however we strongly discourage them as the course remains open to cars, tractors, deer, and other runners and you must remain aware of them. We will disqualify and physically remove runners with headphones who do not respond to course marshal directions or who appear to be running unsafely in our judgment.
If you like Riley's Rumble, consider joining the MCRRC. Club membership entitles you to free entry into all of our low-key races (including Riley's Rumble). With over 20 races each year free to members as well as a lot of other activities, MCRRC membership is an incredible bargain.
Riley's Rumble is named for Riley's Lock,
itself named after John Riley who sawed Seneca sandstone and
tended the lockhouse at Lock 24 along the C&O Canal from
1892 to 1924.
Originally called River Rumble, the
race was a 20K that started and finished atop Riley's Lock
after running southeast to Swain's Lock. In 1988, a
mid-race downpour turned the course to mud. In reaction,
the course was moved from the tow path to roads. To escape
the heat, the date was moved to December. Both changes
Icy rain became the new weather woe. Also, running along
River Road was problematic due to speeders and hunters so
the course was redesigned again - this time to cross River
Road rather than stay on it. And the race moved to March in
what would become another futile attempt to avoid the
unpredictable extremes of weather in Montgomery County.
In 1995, the race was lengthened to a half marathon but
moving it back to the summer turned out to make the race
much more attractive. The last March race (1996) was
attended by a mere 80 runners. In August the following
year, attendance increased by over 300%. That same year
also recorded the only first-place tie - between Mark Hoon
and Jim Whitnah. Having learned that HMers love heat,
Riley's has remained in the July-August timeframe ever
In 2000, the race was renamed Riley's
Rumble. Participation soared to 714 and overflowed the
parking lot at Riley's so the race moved to Poolesville
High School. But after the new course was deemed not hilly
enough, more parking was found back at Riley's Lock and the
race returned there.
In 2002 and no longer a low-key race, online
registration was used for the first time with different
member/non-member rates and its
own web page (which would be redesigned
in 2007 and again in 2010 with
the current design).
It was on the Riley's Lock course in 2006
that a deer (call him Blitzen) decided to take a more
active role in the race and charged runner Nick Fernandez.
Nick was knocked to the ground, landing head-first on the
pavement. He suffered a skull fracture and brain contusion
and had to be choppered out to a hospital. Nick has since
recovered. Status of Blitzen is unknown.
In 2009, the course moved to its current
location at the South Germantown Regional Park. In 2010,
the heat index exceeded the level considered safe for
Riley's as a competitive event so the timing devices were
turned off and participants were allowed to run Riley's only
as an untimed fun run with the adjective "fun" being highly
Through it all, Riley's has remained a very
tough race that, despite no prizes and shirts, draws many of
the best runners in the area to run for their own honor and
become a part of history.
Feel free to write comments, post photos, and thank volunteers on our facebook wall.
To contact the Race Director or Assistant Race Director:
RD Joel Carrier <firstname.lastname@example.org>
ARD George Tarrico <email@example.com>
To report problems with this page, contact: Don Libes <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To report general website problems, contact: <email@example.com>