Marine Corps Marathon
Arlington, VA and Washington, DC
The next event will be: October 22nd, 2017.
Approximate cost is: $140
Registration by lottery (yes/no): Yes
Maximum allowable race time is: 14 min/mile
Summary: The Marine Corps Marathon typically occurs on the final Sunday in October. It is one of the 5 largest marathons in the US and 10 largest in the world and is open to all runners ages 14 and above. It is the largest marathon that does not offer prize money. The race has recently moved to a lottery system to assign entries.
“We arrived at the Pentagon metro station a little after 6:30 a.m., but as soon as we stepped out onto the platform, there was a mass of bodies not moving anywhere. The bottleneck was at the fare gates, and it took us about 10 minutes just to exit the station. Once we were out of the station, we followed the mass of people towards Runner’s Village.”
“I had already been warned about the walk — easily 1-1.5 miles from the metro station to the start, but in my excitement, I didn’t mind.”
“…if you’ve run MCM, you know what I’m talking about. The bridge back into Virginia from DC is long…very long. Miles 20-22 cover it. You go from a wild party atmosphere of DC with screaming fans, drum lines, and Marines, to nothing. It’s silent, sunny, and hot at the worst point in a marathon.”
“We were staying in the Courthouse area of Arlington, so I walked to the Courthouse metro at 6 and took it to Rosslyn to switch to the blue line to get to the Pentagon. I hadn’t looked at the metro times in advance, so I ended up having to wait 15 minutes for a train.”
“Our hotel was steps away from the Metro on King Street in Old Town Alexandria, a decision I am still happy with in spite of the ridiculous fee to park a car in their garage. Phil commented that our car could have had its own room at a Red Roof Inn for the same cost, and I reminded him that this was a once-in-a-lifetime race.”
“In order to beat the crowds, we decided to go to Rosslyn, where there are plenty of free parking spaces and the starting line is an easy walk away. After a few slightly stressful moments due to roads being unexpectedly closed, we made it to Rosslyn in good time.”
“We … made a quick porta-potty stop before dropping off our bags at the UPS bag check (literally in the back of UPS trucks!) and making our way to the starting area. There were no formal corrals, only signs with estimated finish times and runners were expected to line up accordingly.”
“We passed the Kennedy Center and eventually ended up running along the Potomac River, which if I remember correctly is where the incredible military tribute was. There were signs with pictures, names and ages of those killed in action lining the way and immediately following that there was a section lined with flags, each with someone’s name hanging off of it. This part of the course was very quiet and reflective and again it made me think about how glad I was just to be a part of this event. This race was about more than just running 26.2 miles.”
“Leave it to the Marines to make the start unforgettable with one more form of entertainment as they fired the howitzer 105mm canon as the starting gun. The cannon echoed through the start line as the wheelchair and hand cyclist athletes started their race.”
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