FAQ

Recognized for its organizational excellence, the MCM is all about details. Need more info, scan through these frequently asked questions to find important information. Need personal assistance? Email the MCM at mcmcustomerservice@usmc-mccs.org.

General FAQs

What is the mission of the Marine Corps Marathon?

The mission of the Marine Corps Marathon is to promote physical fitness, generate community goodwill and showcase the organizational skills of the United States Marine Corps.

What running events are organized by the Marine Corps Marathon?

Beginning in 2008, the MCM introduced additional running events to an annual calendar that previously only featured the MCM, MCM10K and MCM Kids Run. The MCM Event Series includes mud and obstacle runs of two distances; a triathlon; and several running events of varied distances. The Marine Corps Historic Half is held annually in May and includes 13.1 and fivemile distances.

What distances are available to #RunWithTheMarines?

During 2017, the MCM will host the 11.03 mile Marine Corps 17.75K in March; the Marine Corps Historic Half marathon, Semper 5ive miler and Devil Dog Double in May; the four mile and two mile Run Amuck in June; the Quantico 12K in August; the MCM10K and MCM in October; a one mile MCM Kids Run also in October; and the Turkey Trot 10K and mile in November. The MCM Event Series also includes the Quantico Tri and Quantico 12K in August.

Where are MCM events held?

The MCM, MCM Kids Run and MCM10K are hosted in Arlington, VA and the nation’s capital. The Historic Half occurs in Fredericksburg, VA. The MCM Event Series is hosted on, or near, Marine Corps Base Quantico in Prince William County, VA. The MCM Health & Fitness Expo and numerous MCM Weekend events will be hosted at National Harbor, just outside the nation’s capital in Prince George County, MD.

What role do Marines play in the coordination of MCM events?

Marines are actively involved in the planning and execution of MCM events. As Special Project Officers (SPOs), Marines are assigned a specific area of responsibility to plan and coordinate while managing a workforce of fellow Marines and civilian volunteers. At MCM events, runners will see Marines in a variety of roles including security, course operations, water points, food stations, aid stations, medal presentation and in ceremonial roles including the Marine Corps Color Guard and Quantico Marine Corps Band.

Do MCM events support a charitable cause?

The MCM partners with many qualified 501(c)3 organizations affording them the platform to raise awareness and funds through runner participation in the MCM. Annually, this initiative generates millions of dollars for numerous causes including health and research , military family support, wounded warriors and other social causes. As a government entity, the MCM is not authorized to participate directly in any charitable fundraising.

How is “The People’s Marathon” different from other marathons?

The MCM is the largest marathon in the world that does not offer prize money to its top finishers. Instead, the event is a celebration of every finisher’s honor, courage and commitment to training for, and completing, the MCM. With more than 2,000 Marines and Sailors supporting the organization of the event, runners have come to expect excellence in execution of the event and tremendous on-course support, earning the MCM recognition as a world-class running event.”

What social media tags should runners use?

Tag any posts with #RunWithTheMarines.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/marinecorpsmarathon
Twitter: Marine_Marathon

How can someone volunteer for an MCM event?

Work alongside the men and women of the United States Marine Corps and volunteer for MCM events. Visit the specific event pages to register to volunteer. Numerous important positions are available for individuals and groups.

Is it possible to sponsor MCM events?

The MCM welcomes the opportunity to work alongside large corporate brands and local businesses to enhance the event experience for runners, supporters and residents. MCM sponsorships are customized to maximize sponsor investment and best accomplish marketing objectives. Sponsorships may include on-site activation, digital and social media integration, brand exposure and targeted outreach from the time when runners register through training, to MCM Weekend in October.

How can I contact the MCM?
Phone: 1-800-RUN-USMC

Fax: (703) 784-2265

E-mail: mcmcustomerservice@usmc-mccs.org

MCM FAQs

When is the 2017?
The 42nd MCM will be held on October 22, 2017.

How many participants in the MCM?
The MCM field is limited to 30,000 registered participants.

How will the 42nd MCM Lottery work?
Beginning on March 22, 2017, runners may register for the Lottery on the MCM website. This opportunity concludes on March 29. Registration for the lottery does not guarantee an entry in the MCM. On March 30, those runners selected to fill the field will be notified by email. If not able to register through the Lottery, runners may secure an entry through one of the MCM Charity Partners or by obtaining a transfer entry. A limited number of runners may register for the Marine Corps 17.75K to be held on March 25, 2017. All finishers in this event receive a guaranteed entry into the 42nd MCM.

Registration

Who can register?

Anyone age 14 or older on event day is eligible to participate in the MCM.

Is qualifying time required to participate?

A qualifying time is not necessary, however, all runners are required to maintain a 14-minute per mile pace.

How to register?

To register for the Marathon or any other MCM organized event, including the Marine Corps Historic Half or MCM Event Series, please visit individual event pages and click the registration link.

How do I know that my registration went through when I signed up online?

Registered runners will receive a confirmation by email after completing and submitting the online registration form.

Can participants walk in the MCM?

Walking is an option if the participant is able to maintain a 14-minute per mile pace and reach the 14th Street bridge in Mile 18 by 1:15 p.m. This is known as "Beat the Bridge”.

When will I receive my bib number / electronic confirmation card (e-card)?

Bib numbers will be listed on the e-card and delivered via email to all registered participants in late September/early October.

What options are available to show the e-card at Packet Pick-up?

Runners are required to bring a print out of the e-card to Packet Pick-up, or be able to show the e-card on a cell phone. Packet Pick-up is hosted inside the Health & Fitness Expo.

Can a bib be transferred to another runner?

Yes, the MCM offers a transfer program. Visit the transfer page of this website for additional details including when this program is available and associated fees.

Can runners defer an entry to the following year?

Please refer to the Deferment webpage. A limited number of deferments will be available. When capacity for this program is reached, it will be closed. There will not be notification of program status. Runners can only defer an MCM registration to the following year. Subsequent deferment are not allowed.

How do runners update personal information?

Please send updated data to mcmcustomerservice@usmc-mccs.org

Teams

What is the composition of a team?
A team consists of three to five runners. There is no additional team entry fee. Winners are determined by the average team time. Awards are given to the top three teams in six categories: Men, Women, Masters, Active Duty Military, and Mixed.

How do teams register?
Please download the team entry form to create a team. Each team member must be registered as an individual first before a team entry can be filled out.

Expo

When is the Expo? Where is Packet Pick-up?
The Health & Fitness Expo will be held at Gaylord National Harbor and Convention Center. Expo hours are Friday, October 20 from 10:00 a.m.- 8:00 p.m. and Saturday, October 21 from 8:00 a.m.- 6:00 p.m.

What is required to bring to Packet Pick-up at the Health and Fitness Expo?
E-card and a photo ID are required. All Active Duty/Reservists, who registered during early registration, must show a military ID.

What is included in the runner packet?
Runners receive the 60-page glossy event program, bib with timing device, safety pins, a commemorative MCM patch, UPS Baggage Sticker, clear plastic bag for baggage drop off and MCM mock neck participant shirt.

Can someone else pick up a packet for the registered runner?
Runners are encouraged to pick up their own event materials and to verify their information. However, if a participant cannot attend the Expo, a friend or family member can pick up the runner's materials. The individual picking up in place of the runner must complete and sign the packet release section of the E-card. The individual must also bring a copy of the photo ID.

Weekend Events

Does MCM Weekend include a half marathon?
The Marine Corps Historic Half will be held on May 21, 2017 in Fredericksburg, VA. There is no half marathon during MCM weekend. The MCM10K is hosted annually in conjunction with the MCM.

What other events are held during MCM Weekend?
Be sure to enjoy all the vendors at the Health & Fitness Expo. Other events requiring advance registration include the pasta dinner, known as the Carbo Dining In, MCM Kids Run, Pep Rally, MCM Runners Conference, Runners bRUNch, MCM10K, Finish Festival and Crystal City Festival.

Is there a kids event?
The MCM Kids Run is a great opportunity for children ages 5-12 be part of MCM Weekend. The one-mile run is not timed and all participants receive a medal, shirt, goodie bag and post-event snacks.

When is the MCM Kids Run?
The MCM Kids Run is on the Saturday before the MCM.

Where and when is the Crystal City Family Festival?
A great spectator location situated on Mile 22 and 23 of the marathon course, Crystal City hosts a fun-filled family festival including games, live music and activities. Free parking is available at Crystal Drive and 23rd Street on Sunday during the MCM from 9:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m.

Is there a post-event party?
Post-event festivities occur in the Finish Festival in Rosslyn, VA accessible immediately after the finish line. Open to spectators and runners, the Finish Festival includes free massages, Michelob Ultra beer garden, UPS Baggage Pick-up, Brooks Finisher Store, Family Link up, live entertainment, giveaways, food vendors and more.

Start Line

Where is the start line?
MCM - The start line is located on Route 110 (all lanes) halfway between the Pentagon and Arlington Memorial Drive.

MCM10K - The new start location for the 2017 MCM10K presented by aetna is also in the Pentagon North Parking lot.

What is best way to access the start line?
Metro opens at 7:00 a.m. on MCM Day. Free parking is available in Crystal City, VA (23rd and Crystal Drive) with free shuttles to Runners Village. Additional pay parking options include the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center and Ballston Mall. Free runners only shuttles will run from the Reagan Building to Runners Village from 4:30-7:00 a.m. Arlington’s ART42 bus route will run from 5:00-9:00 a.m. taking runners to Pentagon City, a short walk from the start area. The $1.75 fare may be paid by using the Metro SmarTrip card (https://smartrip.wmata.com/storefront). Free runners only shuttles will run from the Gaylord National Resort at National Harbor from 4:30-6:45 a.m. Spectators may take shuttles from the Gaylord to Metro beginning at 6:45 a.m. The Pentagon station (Blue) is the closest to the start line and Runners Village but doesn’t open until 7 a.m.

How will Metro's SafeTrack affect the MCM?
The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority's SafeTrack initiative involves an accelerated ten month, track work schedule intended to rehabilitate the Metrorail system to improve safety and reliability. This has altered the transportation practices of the residents, commuters and tourists across the national capital region. Metro will not be opening the system early on MCM morning.

What is the start time?
The MCM will begin at 7:40 a.m. for the wheelchair and hand cycle participants. Runners will start at 7:55 a.m. The start remains open until 8:55 a.m. It is recommended that all MCM participants plan to arrive as early as possible to navigate the security checkpoint, drop off bags and line up in the appropriate corral. MCM10K will start at 9:15 a.m.

Does the MCM10K allow wheeled participants?
Due to safety concerns, the MCM10K USATF-certified course can't accommodate wheelchair and handcycle participants.

How should runners line-up at the start line?
Runners should line up in their appropriate corral based on their expected finish time. The well-marked corrals will be maintained by U.S. Marines.

How does baggage work?
Runners are requested to use the clear goodie bag, provided at Packet Pick-up for event-day baggage needs. The clear bag will be the only bag accepted in the baggage check in area located in Runners Village on race day. Runners should affix the UPS baggage sticker to the bag. The sticker is attached to the reverse side of a runner’s bib. Runners wearing a bib number will be allowed to check bags in and out. Backpacks are not recommended. Do not exit Runners Village with any bags. Unattended bags and packages will be removed from the premises.

Can runners push a baby stroller, use a walking stick, roller blade, or take a dog on the course?
None of these options are permitted on the course.

Are iPods or similar devices allowed?
Yes, but please be mindful of runners in near proximity and be able to hear any directions being communicated by course organizers.

Is there extra security?
In planning for the MCM, officials meet with all area police jurisdictions to enhance the safety of everyone involved at the event site and throughout the Marathon and MCM10K courses. Law enforcement will be present with U.S. Marines at the start, finish and along the course, and at key spectator points. Cooperation with security personnel and practices will aid in quickest access to the event site.

On the Course

Where are the water points?
MCM runners will enjoy 12 water points along the course, plus plenty of post-event support at the finish line. The water points are located at approximately every two miles on the course.

What is the energy drink provided?
In addition to water, Marine Corps Marathon welcomes Gatorade to each of the 12 water points.

Where are port-a-johns located?
Port-a-johns are located at the start corrals, Runners Village, each water point and in the Finish Festival.

Will food and drinks be available to spectators at the Marine Corps War Memorial site?
Spectators, please come prepared with a supply of food and beverages.

What type of medical support is available during the marathon?
The MCM course offers 10 aid stations throughout the 26.2 miles. Each aid station is equipped with Navy medical personnel and professional civilian medical volunteers.

What is the course time limit?

The howitzer will fire at 7:55 a.m. officially starting the MCM. The MCM course will remain open until 3:10 p.m. All MCM participants must maintain a 14 minute-per-mile pace across the entire course.

What is the Gauntlet?
MCM participants must reach "the Gauntlet" (Independence Avenue and 15th Street) by 12:38 p.m. MCM participants who do not make it through the Gauntlet will be diverted from the certified Marathon course to 14th Street and may continue running but will not complete the 26.2 mile course. These individuals will not be recognized as official finishers.

What is Beat the Bridge?

All MCM participants must reach the 14th Street Bridge by 1:15 p.m. Every participant will have 14 minutes-per-mile to meet this time requirement.

Finish

How do runners reunite with family members after the marathon?
Family Link up, located in the MCM Finish Festival is where both MCM and MCM10K runners will connect with their families and friends. Runners can meet their support crew in Family Link up, under a designated letter of the alphabet, signifying the first initial of the runner's last name. In addition, runners should inform their supporters of their anticipated pace-per-mile and event-day attire. This will help prepare supporters to know when to expect their runner to finish and what to look for.

How should family members check if there is a medical situation?
Family members should visit the Information/Medical Info tent located on N. Meade Street at the Route 50 off ramp in the Finish Festival. Medical personnel can assist families on the status and location of their runner.

What are the options to exit from the Finish Festival?
Take Metro from the Rosslyn (blue/orange/silver lines) station or board the post-event shuttle from Wilson Boulevard to Crystal City (blue and yellow lines). Taxis also are available in Rosslyn. Look for the Uber pick-up zone at this year's Finish Festival. Request a cab from the corner of 19th Street North and North Moore Street. Your driver will be there within minutes.

Why is there a wait to board Metro after the race?
Thanks to a special service agreement between the MCM and Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, Metro blue line trains will arrive in the Rosslyn station every 7.5 minutes on race day, instead of the standard 15-minute schedule. However, this will not prevent the station platform from being overwhelmed with runners and spectators exiting the Finish Festival. For safety reason, as the platform fills, Metro station escalators are turned off to prevent overcrowding where injuries may occur. This often leads to delays entering the station causing lines. Furthermore, runners attempting to utilize wet farecards may disable the machines requiring maintenance causing further delays in access for all. Runners are encouraged to purchase a One-Day Pass or SmartCard for Metro access and seal in a ziplock bag on event day. Patience is greatly appreciated on event day.

Awards

Where can results from previous MCMs be accessed?
Results from previous years are available on the results page of this site.

What awards are presented at the MCM?
The Marine Corps Marathon offers over 430 awards. Categories are: Overall, Overall Masters, Overall Seniors, Men and Women, age groups, Clydesdale/Athena weight classes, Wheelchair, Hand cycle, and Team Divisions.

What is the MCM Runners Club?
Any runner who has completed five or more MCMs can join the MCM Runners Club. There is no cost to join. Members receive a guaranteed entry for life to the MCM as well as appropriate 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35-year patches as these plateaus are reached.

Technology

How is the MCM timed?
The MCM utilizes a timing system called "B-tag". All tags are attached to the back of each runner’s bib. Please DO NOT remove or bend the Tag. All bibs should be affixed to the front of each runner's clothing

What is the Runner Broadcast Service?
Runners may announce their progress every 10K of the Marathon course by automatically posting timing updates on their Facebook timeline or over their Twitter feed. By broadcasting split times, runners will be able to effectively inform every friend or follower of their triumphant trek through the nation’s capital. Registration for this service begins in early October.

What is Track A Runner?
Relatives, friends and running buddies can follow a runner’s progress along the MCM course in real time. The virtual support crew can sign up to receive updates for one or multiple runners from the 10K, 20K, 30K, 40K and finish-line split locations. The timing data may be delivered by text, email or posted on personal Facebook and/or Twitter pages. Registration for this service begins in early October.

What Social Media outlets feature the MCM?
Facebook: www.facebook.com/marinecorpsmarathon
Twitter: Marine_Marathon
Tweet with #RunWithTheMarines or #MarineCorpsMarathon

Volunteer

How do individuals sign up to volunteer?
Please visit the Volunteer Page for more information.

Contact Information

For Marine Corps Marathon Information
Website: www.marinemarathon.com

Phone: (703) 784-2225

Fax: (703) 784-2265

E-mail: mcmcustomerservice@usmc-mccs.org