MCM Course

Hosted in the nation's capital with the start and finish in Arlington, VA, the Marine Corps Marathon offers an unparalleled journey through the most recognizable landmarks in our country. Begin the run situated between the Pentagon and Arlington National Cemetery, continue through Rosslyn before journeying into the District to tour Georgetown and the National Mall on the way to 'beating the bridge.' Enter Arlington and pass the Pentagon, tour Crystal City, and finish uphill (you read that right) at the Marine Corps War Memorial.

Course Details

The Marine Corps Marathon is aptly nicknamed the “Marathon of the Monuments.”

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 to Kirkwood Road before turning on Spout Run and the George Washington Memorial 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 near Waterside Drive.

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 8 and 9, MCM participants travel parallel to the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and then remain right onto Ohio Drive. Runners cross Taft Bridge to enter East Potomac Park at mile 10.

Runners continue along the scenic Potomac River and through the emotional wear blue Mile section of the course where fallen service members are commemorated along the roadway decorated with American flags.

Runners will depart the Hains Point area and then turn onto East Basin Drive before making a left onto Maine Avenue. 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.

  • All MCM participants must maintain a 14 minute-per-mile pace. In mile 15, MCM participants will reach "the Gauntlet." MCM participants who do not make it through the Gauntlet by 12:38 p.m. will be diverted from the certified Marathon course at Independence Avenue 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.

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, before turning left onto 3rd Street.

The MCM course then moves runners right onto Pennsylvania Avenue traveling toward the U.S. Capitol and continues to turn them right along the outside of Peace Circle and onto 1st Street, with impressive views of the Capitol dome.

Along the National Mall, runners turn right onto 1st Street NW then stay to the left of Garfield Cirlce, left onto Maryland Avenue and then right onto 3rd Street. At this point, runners will turn left onto Jefferson Drive 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” near Mile 18.

  • All MCM participants must reach the intersection of 14 and D Streets before the 14th Street Bridge by 1:15 p.m. This is located just past Mile 18.

Runners will cross over the 14th Street Bridge and the scenic Potomac River as they head back into Virginia.The course turns right onto Eads Street and right on South Rotary into the South Pentagon parking lot. At Mile 21, runners exit the Pentagon lot via Eads Street and turn left onto Army Navy Drive.The course turns left on 12th Street, which becomes Crystal Drive, where the vibrant colors and energy of Crystal City Family Festival will be on display.

Runners then turn into Crystal Park Tower and continue along Crystal Drive before a turnaround at 26th Street.

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. From there, runners will turn left onto Connector Road before taking Route 110.

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 Marine Corps War Memorial!

Road Closures

Local jurisdictions will reopen the roads as soon as event operations cease, with the MCM course officially closing by 3:10 p.m.

All 4:00 a.m. times reflect the closing of the start/finish corridor north of Rosslyn and south of the Pentagon.

The initial closing time allows approximately 30 minutes prior to the lead hand cyclists beginning the MCM at precisely 7:40 a.m.

The opening times reflects the last “official” runner crossing a particular location plus clean-up.

Straggler buses will follow “Rear Pace” (14 minute per mile) to collect runners who are unable to maintain the maximum pace.

The course officially closes at 3:10 p.m.

View Road Closures

Water Points

WP 1: Eastbound Lee Highway between Wayne and Adams Streets. Also supports the MCM10K.
WP 2: Intersection of M and 33rd Streets, NW, in Georgetown.
WP 3/4: Along Rock Creek Parkway near Virginia Avenue.
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: Pentagon South Parking Lot.
WP 11/12: Along Crystal Drive at 15th Street.
WP 13:
Along Route 110 across from North Pentagon Parking.

Gatorade Endurance Formula
The Gatorade Endurance Formula is a specialized sports drink with nearly twice the sodium and more than three times the potassium of Gatorade Thirst Quencher to help sustain hydration, maintain proper fluid balance and replace key electrolytes lost in sweat during racing.

Aid Stations

AS 1: Spout Run at Lee Highway.
AS 2/3: Along Rock Creek Park at Virginia Avenue.
AS 4/6: Independence Ave SW and Ohio Drive SW in West Potomac Park at the Ericksson Memorial.
AS 5: Ohio and Buckeye Drive SW underneath the I395 overpass (Case Bridge) on the Washington Channel side of East Potomac Park.
AS 7: East of the intersection of 14th Street NW and Madison Drive NW, in front of the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.
AS 8: Jefferson Drive SW and 12th Street SW at the Department of Agriculture.
AS 9: Fern Street Parking lot at Army/Navy Drive
AS 10: Intersection of Long Bridge Drive and Boundary Channel Drive.

  • Medical Tents are located on the Marine Corps War Memorial Circle and near the Netherlands Carillion.
  • Medical Information tent is located at the intersection of Lynn Street and Fairfax Drive. Medical personnel will track runners and record medical data to ensure timely updates are available to families of runners receiving assistance.

Food Stations

  • Oranges: west side of Rock Creek Parkway at Thompson's boat house prior to Virginia Avenue at Mile 7. Thanks Wegmans!
  • CLIF SHOT Energy Gel: at Ohio Drive before Water Point 6, at the end of Hains Point in East Potomac Park at Mile 11. CLIF SHOT Energy Gel (gluten free) 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!
  • Jelly Belly Sport Beans: at the intersection of Jefferson Dr SW and 4 Street SW along the National Mall prior to WP 9 at Mile 17. Sport Beans™ jelly beans (gluten free) 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.
  • Animal Crackers: located between 20th and 23rd Streets on Crystal Drive.


The Marine Corps Marathon features a wide variety of musical entertainment throughout the course. From the first mile to the last, runners and spectators are treated to inspiring artists, motivating music and exciting entertainment. Entertainment for 2016:

  • Mile 1. Set-up Duo
  • Mile 3. Vandelays
  • Mile 4. Spread Love Band
  • Mile 5. Big Bad Juju
  • Mile 5. Panic on the Vibe
  • Mile 7. Natural Born Thriller
  • Mile 10. wear blue Mile
  • Mile 12. American University Pep Band
  • Mile 13. Monacan HS Marching Chiefs
  • Mile 14. Dry Mill Road
  • Mile 15. Spotsylvania High School
  • Mile 16. Bruiser
  • Mile 16. In Step Entertainment
  • Mile 17. CHEC
  • Mile 18. Batala
  • Mile 20. Greensville Co High School
  • Mile 21. Fusebox Radio/DJ Fusion
  • Mile 21. USMC Band of Brothers
  • Mile 22. Brad Doggett
  • Mile 23. Moonliscious
  • Mile 24. The Melonheads
  • Finish. Moonshine
  • Mobile - Mr. Incredible

For additional information, please contact Sandra Osborn-Peters, Community Relations Coordinator at 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 between miles 10 and 11 on the MCM course along Hains Point, 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 150 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 and 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.

Course Map

View Map

Turn by Turn

Guiding runners along the 26.2 mile from the Route 110 start in Arlington, through the nation's capital and back to the Marine Corps War Memorial.

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The MCM deploys a combination of volunteer medical personnel and sponsor partners to best support runner safety and care.

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