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Course detailsThe Marine Corps Marathon is aptly nicknamed the “Marathon of the Monuments,” while offering a beautifully scenic route through some of the most impressive landscape and national monuments Arlington, VA and the nation’s capital have to offer.
The USATF-certified 26.2 mile marathon course starts in Arlington, VA on Route 110 between Arlington National Cemetery and the Pentagon. The course moves through Rosslyn along Lee Highway before turning on Spout Run and the George Washington Parkway. Runners will experience a climb on Lee Highway in the first few miles of the course, but are rewarded with a descent along Spout Run and the Parkway.
After crossing Key Bridge into Georgetown between Miles 4 and 5, runners turn right along the renowned M Street where throngs of spectators will cheer them through the most popular area of historic Georgetown.
From M Street, MCM runners continue turning right onto Wisconsin Avenue and then left onto K Street, and continue to run on K under the Whitehurst Freeway. Runners then make a continuous loop turning right onto 27th Street, right onto I Street, right onto Virginia Avenue and finally turn right onto Rock Creek and Potomac Parkway, heading north. It’s along the Parkway that MCM runners will enjoy running the beautifully tree-lined roadways and under historic stone-covered bridges before making a U-turn at the median located at Beach and Shoreham Drives.
After the U-turn, runners follow the southbound lanes of Rock Creek and Potomac Parkway heading past the impressive Kennedy Center and under the Theodore Roosevelt Bridge. Between Miles 10 and 11, MCM participants travel parallel to the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and then bear left onto Ohio Drive while passing under Arlington Memorial Bridge. Runners remain right of the John Ericsson National Memorial as Ohio Drive meets Independence Avenue and then right onto Ohio Drive entering West Potomac Park.
Runners continue along the scenic Potomac River and through the emotional “Run to Honor” section of the course where fallen service members are commemorated along the roadway decorated with American flags. Runners continue to travel along Ohio Drive and throughout the Hains Point peninsula to the very end of the point, as Ohio Drive continues along the other side of the peninsula adjacent to the East Potomac Golf Course.
Runners will depart Hains Point while bearing right along the traffic pattern on Ohio Drive as the roadway splits, and then will turn onto East Basin Drive before making a left onto Maine Avenue. Throughout Miles 15 and 16, MCM runners will continue all along the scenic Tidal Basin with views of the Jefferson Memorial. Runners will continue on Maine Avenue as it turns onto Independence Avenue and will head west further along the Tidal Basin crossing over the Kutz Bridge.
On Independence Avenue, MCM competitors will run by the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial and the FDR Memorial. MCM runners then loop back along Independence Avenue on the side closest to the National Mall and the Korean and WWII Memorials before making a left turn onto 15th Street at the Washington Monument.
MCM runners then continue on the course along the north side of the National Mall, with views of the Smithsonian Institute’s National Museum of American History, National Museum of Natural History and the National Art Gallery at Mile 18, before turning left onto 3rd Street.
The MCM course then moves runners right onto Constitution Avenue traveling toward the majestic U.S. Capitol and continues to turn them right along the inside of East Capitol Circle and onto 1st Street, with impressive views of the Capitol dome.
Along the National Mall, runners turn right onto 1st Street Northwest then stay to the left of South Capitol Circle Southwest, right onto Maryland Avenue and then right onto 3rd Street. At this point, runners will turn left onto Jefferson Drive travelling the south side of the National Mall past the Air and Space Museum, the historic carousel, the Smithsonian Castle and the Freer Gallery of Art. Runners then make a left turn onto 14th Street, passing the Holocaust Museum just before they “Beat the Bridge” at Mile 20.
From Miles 20 to 21, runners will cross over the 14th Street Bridge and the scenic Potomac River as they head back into Virginia for the last 10K, where the vibrant colors and energy of Crystal City Family Festival will be on display.
As MCM runners enter into Crystal City, they will travel along Army-Navy Drive turning left onto 12th Street South as it becomes Crystal Drive, enjoying a variety of entertainment along the way. Runners then make a left U-turn onto 23rd Street South, prior to entering the intersection, continuing onto Crystal Drive. At this point in the course, participants will turn right into Crystal Park Tower #2 drive and bear to the left. They will exit the driveway circle by turning right onto northbound Crystal Drive and runners will continue to bear right until it becomes 12th Street South.
Runners will then turn right onto Long Bridge Drive, parallel to the scenic park area, and bear left onto Boundary Channel Drive toward the Pentagon. New to this year’s MCM course, runners will remain on Boundary Channel Drive toward the Pentagon’s North parking lot and adjacent to the Potomac River, following left around North Parking. From there, runners will travel back onto the Route 110 access road under the Washington Boulevard overpass and continue in the northbound lanes.
Finally, the MCM course unfurls alongside Arlington National Cemetery then, after turning left onto Marshall Drive, offers a final up-hill challenge to the finish at the access road to the Marine Corps War Memorial and the MCM Finish!
WP 1: Eastbound Lee Highway between Wayne and Adams Streets
WP 2: Intersection of M and 33rd Streets, NW, in Georgetown
WP 3/4: Along Rock Creek Parkway at the grass median south of Massachusetts Avenue ramp.
WP 5/7: Independence Ave and Ohio Dr SW at West Potomac Park
WP 6: Ohio Drive SW parking area near the end of Hains Point
WP 8: At Madison Dr NW and 12th St NW along the National Mall
WP 9: At Jefferson Dr SW and 7th St SW along the National Mall
WP 10/11: Army/Navy Drive at the Eads Street auxiliary parking lot. Also supports the MCM10K.
WP 12: On Route 110 behind the MCM corrals. Also supports the MCM10K.
The Marine Corps Marathon welcomes Gatorade Endurance to all 12 water points. The Gatorade flavor will be Lemon Lime Endurance Formula.
FS1: Oranges on the west side of Rock Creek Parkway at Thompson's boat house prior to Virginia Ave.
FS2: CLIF SHOT Energy Gel will be at Ohio Drive before Water Point 6, at the end of Hains Point in East Potomac Park. CLIF SHOT Energy Gel is the fastest way to top off your energy tank during training and racing. Available on course in 5 great flavors - Vanilla, Razz, Citrus, Mocha and Double Expresso, CLIF SHOT Energy Gel is loaded with essential electrolytes to give you fast-acting energy on the go. Made with organic ingredients, and never any preservatives, you'll get the streamlined nutrition you need to perform your best. Stop by the CLIF Bar booth at the Expo to try all the flavors before event day!
FS3: Jelly Belly Sport Beans at the intersection of Jefferson Dr SW and 4th Street SW along the National Mall prior to WP 9. Sport Beans™ jelly beans are formulated with electrolytes, carbohydrates and vitamins B and C to sustain and replenish energy during intense exercise. This revolutionary product maximizes performance and ensures ideal portion control, with four delicious flavors that will keep you going.
FS4: A little pop of pleasure during the final stretch to the finish line at mile marker 24. Dunkin' Donuts Munchkins (glazed, jelly filled, pumpkin, old fashioned and cinnamon and chocolate glazed) will be distributed along the East side of Clark Street S prior to the intersection of 12th Street and Army Navy Drive before the Water Point. Made fresh daily in a variety of colorful and delicious flavors, there’s a favorite for every runner. Stop by the Dunkin Donuts booth in the Finish Festival for a flavored latte.
BUILDING THE COURSE
As America's Traffic Control Leader, Area Wide Protective (AWP) is proud to announce a partnership with the Marine Corps Marathon. AWP will be providing traffic management services and traffic control devices for the Marine Corps Marathon. AWP's support will include the use of 600-700 cones, several fully-equipped trucks, and the professional traffic control services of 20 volunteers from AWP's local facilities in Virginia and Maryland. AWP's corporate team (based in Ohio) is also working with the Virginia Department of Transportation and the Marine Corps to develop temporary traffic control plans for the event that will help ensure the safety of the runners, MCM volunteers and workers, and the general public travelling through the area.
Safety and security is a top priority for Marine Corps Marathon organizers and the event’s law enforcement partners.
Runners will be allowed to carry, or wear, hydration backpacks (Camelbak), hydration vests and/or fuel belts while completing the Marathon or MCM10K courses.
Runners will not be allowed to wear any other type of backpack or rucksack without the authorization of the event Director.
In addition, the wearing of any mask, hood or other device whereby a substantial portion of the face is hidden -- or covered -- so as to conceal the identity of the wearer is strictly prohibited.
Runners and spectators cannot bring glass containers to any event site. Flammable liquids are also prohibited from being carried into any event location.
The MCM has partnered with Leave No Trace to encourage behavior with minimal impact on the National Parks comprising the MCM course. A set of principles were established by the MCM to guide runners at this event and others to be mindful of the environment. Leave No Trace at the MCM!
Runners and spectators are required to access the Marathon and MCM10K start and finish areas through screening points. Limiting the number of items brought to the 39th will greatly reduce the wait time at these entry points.
All runner and spectator bags, backpacks, purses, etc., will be subject to search by law enforcement at the screening points. Runners and spectators should never leave bags unattended anywhere near the MCM course or the start and finish areas. Please keep your items with you at all times both as a safety precaution and so as not to litter the area, especially the National Park landscape.
Only clear plastic bags issued to MCM and MCM10K participants will be allowed on UPS baggage trucks parked in Runner’s Village for the Marathon, and at the MCM10K start on the National Mall. All participant bags will be issued during Packet Pick-up at the Health & Fitness Expo inside the D.C. Armory. Packet Pick-up will be located inside the Armory and will operate from Thursday, Oct. 23 through Saturday, Oct. 25.
If a MCM or MCM10K participant does not have a designated support person to maintain possession of any other items or baggage on Marathon morning, the items should not be brought to the event.
The MCM-issued bib, also issued during Packet Pick-up serves as the most recognizable identification for participants of both running events. Prior to arriving at the start area, runners must have the bib fastened to the front of their clothing.
Health & Fitness Expo Security
Security measures also will be in place at the Health & Fitness Expo at the Washington Convention Center. The Expo is open free to the public on October 23-24.
All MCM and MCM10K participants are required to present their E-Card in either printed form, or on a phone, to obtain their official bib and event-day materials. Proxy pick-up remains available for MCM and MCM10K participants.
In order to have a designated individual pick up the packet for a registered participant, the runner must sign his or her E-Card and provide the individual attending the Expo a photocopy of their Photo ID (driver's license, government ID, passport). The proxy will be required to sign the form and also show and provide a photocopy of their own Photo ID.
See Something, Say Something
Runners and spectators are asked by the MCM and its law enforcement partners to actively observe their surroundings while also supporting the procedures put in place to ensure the safety of all. If something suspicious is observed, individuals should report it immediately, either by calling 911 or by asking a police officer, or U.S. Marine for assistance.
Event status updates, weather and news alerts will be disseminated throughout MCM Weekend on the event website, Facebook page and on the MCM App, which is downloadable free of charge on any Android or smart phone.