Washington Marine Corp Marathom 06

For some reason once one marathon is over I just can't help signing up for another - bit excited about this one though - sounds like a big adventure in a great city - trouble is there is all that training to be getting on with - help !


  • It's a good race. Typical big city event in that it's quite high profile and well organised but with the USMC running it, it has a sort of "non-profit" feel. The crowds are not enormous (compared to NY, Boston, London, or Chicago) -- DC, with its unique cultural mix, is really not a road running city -- and the course is quite compact (in other words, it's 26.2 miles squeezed into a reasonably small area (which makes it good for spectators to see you at a number of different points in the race without having to walk a long way). It's also fast and flat...the sort of place you'd have a shot at a PB. And, of course, if running by monuments is your thing, then you've got an unbeatable marathon for that. I have to say, however, that I'd do New York or Chicago before the Marine Corps, and I'd do Boston far ahead of all three (or any other marathon, for that matter.)
  • Thanks Haile - have you run it before ?
  • I've run over 20 marathons and Washington is perhaps the best along with Paris. It doesn't have the crowds of other big city marathons but the organisation is unbeatable. The course is excellent going round all the sights in Washington and finishing right by the Iwo Jima memorial. Hardest part is going out to Haines Point at about 16 - 17 miles ...it's a long stretch. The marines on course & at the end are fantastic and when they tell you they are going to untie your shoes at the end you let them ....you don't argue with a marine!!
  • ooooh marines you say? Hmmm
  • Yes, I've run it before. Like I said, in my view it's a good race with some very good points but it falls a little short of being a great one. I also lived in DC for five years.

    It's all a matter of opinion though, with the possible exception of Boston. That, definitely, IS the best when it comes to marathoning.
  • Max - Marines that's right - hope they don't distract me from a p.b!

    Thanks Martin - sounds great - I've heard a lot of good things about this race and I've got some friends who've just moved out to Virginia - so it became the ideal opportunity .
    My main reason for running a marathon this autumn is to try and break 3.15 - I ran 3.23 at FLM this year after a 5 week lay off in training due to injury. For some reason I've set myself the ridiculous goal of making the Elite womens start next year - so hoping that the MCM will be the ideal spot to do this .

    Haile -must admit I did look at New York - but just missed the non charity route entry - and wasn't sure that it would be the best race for a pb - deffinetly intend to run it one day though - How was Boston by the way - would love to do that one too - but even though I love Hills - dosen't that course just kill ?
  • Boston is simply a class apart. No other marathon comes close. I'd rather not repeat myself and I and others have written much about the experience, but dig up this years Boston thread. It says it all. There is no race that I have experienced like it.

    MCM is good for a PB short but then again Boston, though it is a hard course, also yielded PBs to a couple of people I know who ran it. If you're right on the day, you always have a chance.

    Good luck with the elite time. I'm aiming for the same thing (2.45 in my case, for men -- though I am a veteran) and I need to find eight minutes from somewhere.
  • There's a great book called "First Marathons" - experiences of many first time marathoners - quite a few ran the Marine Corps Marathon as their first:

  • (sorry, should explain - you're at the other end of the scale on speed but you might be interested in the descriptions of atmosphere etc!)
  • Back Haile up on the Boston PB potential....guy from our club ran it this year and improved his PB by over 9 minutes!!! I've put MCM top of my list for now but yet to do Boston so that could all change. Nowhere near as fast as Haile....are you sure you are not the Ethiopian Haile G?
  • You've seen the picture. Do I look Ethiopian?!!!!! Seriously, I'm the Haile who HAS run a PB this year, NOT the failure who hasn't :-) And if that's not Haile Unlikely then I don't know what is!
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