The Challenge Before the Challenge

Many look to the Marine Corps 1775K as a gateway to the MCM, but the 11.03 mile run is more than just a stepping stone. The event held on March 25 in Prince William Forest Park offers runners a legit test, as they attempt to cover the continuous rolling hills along tree-lined course.

Intel on the challenging course: 50 percent paved roadways. 50 percent gravel paths. Challenging. Significant uphills at mile 1.5, 4.5 and 9. Steady diet of downhills quickly met by uphills of varied climbs.

After crossing the finish line, runners receive a unique and special medal, while distractedly looking ahead to the next station in the finish area. Runners can't wait to be presented the Access Granted code used to register for the MCM and bypass the Lottery.

Registration opens on Friday, February 17 at 11 a.m. eastern for the 1775K. In 2016, registration sold out in minutes. So while getting into the event is a challenge, finishing it is an even bigger accomplishment. Really, every step of the way for these runners, all the way to the Marine Corps War Memorial at the 42nd MCM, offers feelings of success.