Ben’s Chili Bowl Hosts A Unique Half Marathon With A Half-Smoke!

Can you imagine how hungry you would feel while running a marathon or half-marathon? Well, how about eating an original Ben’s Chili Bowl world-famous half-smoke at the halfway point? That’s right—runners will complete 6.55 miles, stop and eat a half-smoke with chips at Ben’s Chili Bowl on U Street, and then finish up the run!

As we celebrate the year of our 58th Anniversary, we are excited to host the 5th Annual Ben’s Chili Bowl DC Half and Half Marathon on Saturday, November 5th starting at 8AM, and the bulk of the eating will take place at Ben’s Chili Bowl on U Street around 9AM!

The inspiration for the Ben’s Chili Bowl DC Half and Half Marathon came to two local brothers while driving home after competing in a food challenge in Raleigh, NC.  “It was about time DC had a real challenging food race,” said Chris Magnuson of Washington, DC. “When we thought of food and DC, we naturally thought of Ben’s Chili Bowl and the half-smoke.  Half marathon was the perfect distance to accompany it.”

For the past four years, runners have started at Second Wind Crossfit (5509 14th St NW) near Carter Baron Amphitheater and then have cruised through Rock Creek Park, headed down through Adams Morgan and then ended up at Ben’s Chili Bowl on U Street. That’s where the fun begins—runners complete their meal and then head back out the door to finish where they started.  The course is a beautiful run through Rock Creek Park and on open city streets due to the small number of runners.

“We are very excited that about 150 runners have participated each of the past four years,” said Pete Magnuson. “We are especially thankful to Ben’s Chili Bowl for agreeing to sponsor and host this crazy idea! Honestly, without Ben’s this would not be happening!”  DC United has also been supportive. “They came to us right after we announced the run and have offered tons of support.”   DC United mascot, Talon, will be on hand inspecting empty plates as runners exit Ben’s Chili Bowl!

The Ben’s Chili Bowl Foundation proudly supports ScholarCHIPS! Proceeds from the event go to ScholarCHIPS (, a scholarship fund for students of incarcerated parents. Chris Magnuson chose to support ScholarCHIPS because one of his former students, Yasmine Arrington, started it as a junior at Banneker High School while she was looking for ways to fund her own college education. Her father was incarcerated for 16 years and she hoped to find financial support for students in her situation, but she came up short. To this day, ScholarCHIPS has awarded over $80,000 to students of incarcerated parents in the DMV area, coupled with needed mentorship as they head off to college.


Media Contact:

Vida Ali – Ben’s Chili Bowl: 310-859-4730

Chris Magnuson: 202-368-4883

Pete Magnuson: 703-801-9925