Ideally situated halfway between Washington, DC, the nation’s capital, and Richmond, the capital of the Commonwealth, the Marine Corps Historic Half introduces runners to Fredericksburg, VA, an ideal weekend getaway spot. The 13.1 mile course features historical attractions from the Revolutionary and Civil War periods; a quaint downtown with unique shops and chef-owned restaurants; a run alongside the Rappahannock River; and the now-famous Hospital Hill.

Course Details

The Marine Corps Historic Half course features 13.1 miles of scenic and historic landmarks in and around Fredericksburg, Virginia. Runners begin their journey at the Fredericksburg Expo and Conference Center on Carl D. Silver Parkway and head south through the shops and restaurants of Central Park. With a left turn onto Cowan Boulevard, the course proceeds downhill towards residential areas in Fredericksburg. Following a right turn, runners proceed along rolling hills of the Westwood neighborhood. At mile 3, a downhill section takes participants beneath historic US Route 1 before turning onto William Street. The substantial climb along William takes runners adjacent to the University of Mary Washington, passing the 88-foot tall Clock Tower, dedicated in honor of the University’s Centennial Celebration in 2008.

Next, the course turns left onto historic Sunken Road, famous as a confederate stronghold during the Civil War, protecting Robert E. Lee’s center of operations from penetration by the North at the Battle of Fredericksburg. At the end of Sunken Road, the course bears right onto Fitzhugh Street and continue winding through the quaint College Terrace neighborhood. After returning to William Street, a left turn onto Washington Avenue passes the Fredericksburg Confederate Cemetery where six Confederate generals and more than 3,300 Southern soldiers lie buried here; 2,184 of them are unknown. Along the way, runners enjoy the view of Kenmore Plantation, the Georgian-style mansion that was home to merchant Fielding Lewis and his wife, Betty Washington Lewis, George Washington’s sister.

Just across the street from Kenmore, runners will notice the General Hugh Mercer Memorial Statue constructed in honor of his heroic and fatal actions at the Battle of Princeton during the American Revolution. Ahead, catch a glimpse of the Mary Washington Grave and Monument, dedicated by President Grover Cleveland in 1894, to the famed Fredericksburg resident and mother of George Washington.

The course then proceeds with a right turn on Pelham Street and another right onto Fall Hill Ave as it become Canal Street. Here, runners are sure to enjoy the peach blossoms, roses and hundreds of other plants and vegetation along the old Rappahannock Canal.

As runners proceed right onto Prince Edward Street, they will enter the historic residential district before returning to William Street. Runners will see downtown Fredericksburg while passing picturesque shops and churches, some that weathered the battle of Fredericksburg in 1862. With a left turn onto Charlotte Street, runners are greeted by the downtown Visitor’s Center. Another left turn on Caroline Street takes the course through scenic old town Fredericksburg.

Continuing right onto Amelia Street, followed by a left on Sophia Street, the course passes the upper pontoon crossing used during the 1st Battle of Fredericksburg to cross the treacherous Rappahannock River by the northern soldiers. Returning to Caroline Street takes runners along the historic mill district and Old Mill Park, Fredericksburg most popular park with river front views. Caroline becomes Riverside Drive as the course again passes beneath historic US Route 1. After turning onto Fall Hill Avenue and a short stint on US Route 1, runners eventually reach Mary Washington Boulevard. Runners will scale Hospital Hill and receive an up close view of Mary Washington Hospital as they loop Hospital Drive.

The final two-mile stretch of the course turns right onto Cowan Boulevard and right onto Carl D. Silver Parkway, leading runners to cross the finish line at the Fredericksburg Expo & Conference Center.

Hospital Hill

After 26 miles, the Marine Corps Marathon course has a final climb of two-tenths of a mile to the finish line at the iconic Marine Corps War Memorial. Not to be outdone, the Marine Corps Historic Half in Fredericksburg, has its own vertical challenge: Hospital Hill, a 0.53-mile segment of the 13.1-mile course. Runners arrive at Mary Washington Healthcare campus at mile 10.5 after traveling downhill for the first nine miles of the Half. Hospital Hill is in the middle of a two-mile uphill climb that peaks at Cowan Boulevard crossing over Interstate 95. The much-talked-about Hospital Hill stretches over 930 yards in which the hill’s elevation doubles from 100 feet to 200 feet, or the equivalent of climbing to the top of a ten story building. Add to this the tease of a slight leveling off partway up Hospital Hill before encountering another eight percent grade. To finish the Historic Half or Semper 5ive, means a runner has conquered Hospital Hill.

Road Closures

Local law enforcement will close roads along the entire Historic Half course at 6:30 a.m. Fredericksburg roads will reopen as soon as event operations cease. The opening times reflects the last “official” runner crossing a particular location plus clean-up. The Historic Half course officially closes by 11:00 a.m.

View Road Closure Map

Water Points

WP 1: Cowan Blvd in eastbound lanes at Hugh Mercer Elementary School entrance
WP 2:University of Mary Washington at Sunken Road and Sylvania Avenue
WP 3:Maury Street and Fall Hill Avenue
WP 4: Caroline Street past Ford Street
WP 5:Mary Washington Blvd and Executive Center Pkwy
WP 6:Care Way on Mary Washington Hospital Campus

Gatorade Endurance Formula

Lemon-Lime Gatorade Endurance Formula will be available on course at all water points. Endurance Formula has two times the sodium and three times the potassium of traditional Gatorade. Newly reformulated, it now contains no artificial flavors or sweeteners and has a new, lighter flavor.

Aid Stations

Four Aid Stations provide basic medical and Basic Life Support care along both, the Semper 5ive and Historic Half, courses with support from proud sponsor, Mary Washington Healthcare, the Naval Health Clinic Quantico and other volunteers.

Fredericksburg Emergency Medical Services (EMS), along with mutual aid partners from the surrounding areas, provide bike teams, medical gators and EMS transport in support of the event. Each Aid Station is equipped with an AED, as well as other medical supplies needed to care for Historic Half participants.

Aid Stations are located:
  • AS 1/4: Along Carl D. Silver Parkway at the Sheetz gas station
  • AS 2: Near Maury and Fall Hill Ave at the Quarels Building parking lot
  • AS 3: Care Way at Hospital Drive
  • AS S/F: Start/finish at the finish on Carl D. Silver Parkway

Food Station

Jelly Belly Sport Beans: Distributed to runners at mile 7.5 from outside the Fredericksburg Visitor Center, 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.

Entertainment

The Historic Half searches for local and regional musicians, performers, and cheer squads to entertain participants along the 13.1 mile course in Fredericksburg, Virginia. The 2016 entertainment lineup featured:

  • Start. In-Step Entertainment
  • Start. USMC Band of Brothers
  • Start/Mile 12. Massaponnax High School
  • Start/Mile 12. Fredericksburg Fire Department
  • Mile 1/11. Bruiser
  • Mile 2: USA Cheer
  • Mile 2: Group Captain and Mandrakes
  • Mile 3: Stafford Stealth
  • Mile 5: Baffa Academy of Irish Dance
  • Mile 7: Equals Conquest
  • Mile 7: Dixie Power Trio
  • Mile 7: Colonial Heritage Society Dancers
  • Mile 8: Coleman Motor Company
  • Mile 8: wear blue Mile
  • Mile 9: December
  • Mile 9: Rappahannock Area Comfort Canines
  • Mile 9: Magnolia
  • Finish: Blue Gray Therapy Dogs

For additional information, please contact Sandra Osborn-Peters, Community Relations Coordinator at sandra.osborn-peters@usmc-mccs.org or 703.784.2357

wear blue Mile

With every step, wear blue creates a living memorial to the service and sacrifice of the American military. Located at mile 8.5 on the Marine Corps Historic Half course, the wear blue Mile allows runners to pay tribute to the service members who have paid the ultimate sacrifice. Along this stretch of the course, runners will pass volunteers holding 75 American flags with photo tributes nearby of men and women killed in Afghanistan and Iraq. It is a space to preserve memories and to build connections between families of the fallen, active duty military, their families, and the civilian community. Runners emerge from the wear blue mile inspired by the selfless patriotism and heroism of those serving in the United States military.