For many runners, the half marathon has become a go-to goal and it’s not hard to see why. Regardless of your running experience, 13.1 miles is a challenging but manageable and fun distance to achieve and train for. You can find training plans that don’t take up too much of your personal time and energy but still set you up for success while earning bragging rights!
If you’re contemplating participating in a full marathon or just ramping up to a new distance, here are 13.1 reasons why the Marine Corps Historic Half is a great primer or an ideal stand-alone distance.
1- You Get to Virtually #RunWithTheMarines. Organized by the men and women of the United States Marine Corps, runners have three options to run with the Marines during Historic Half Weekend. In addition to the virtual 13.1-mile half marathon distance, runners may choose from the virtual 5-mile Semper 5ive and the virtual18.1-mile Devil Dog Double, which combines both distances for the reward of earning three medals. From start to finish and all points in between, the Marines offer encouragement and motivation.
2- You Can Explore a New Location Virtually. When held in-person, the Historic Half takes place in Fredericksburg, Virginia. As the home of George Washington and James Monroe and the site of both the Revolutionary and the Civil Wars, Fredericksburg’s rich history dates back to the beginnings of our country. In 2022, we hope to see you live and in-person in historic Fredericksburg for the 15th Marine Corps Historic Half. Extend your trip for a couple days and make it a run-cation so you can explore the shops, restaurants and sites of downtown Fredericksburg area and take in the local attractions pre-or post-event.
3- A Spectacular Course. The traditional course takes runners through historic downtown, along the scenic Rappahannock riverside path, past significant landmarks, and battlefields, which enhances the running experience and seems to reduce the burden of miles. Tack on a hill climb of 212 feet wherever you are to get the virtual experience of our infamous Hospital Hill in the spirit of the event.
4- Great Preparation for the Full. “The harder the conflict, the greater the triumph!” are famous words of a former Fredericksburg local and first president of the United States, George Washington. If you’re planning to tackle the Marine Corps Marathon for the first time, running the Historic Half is the perfect opportunity to gauge your pace or improve your performance. Pick a training plan you can stick to and start racking up the mileage towards your ultimate goal.
5- You Can Run for a Cause. Combine your goal of completing a half marathon with helping others by raising money and awareness for a charity. Running for a worthwhile cause is a rewarding experience that will give you further purpose to keep training and help you stay motivated on the course. It’s a win-win situation.
6- Your Wallet Will Thank You. Do you want to release some major endorphins without breaking the bank? Then, the Marine Corps Historic Half is perfect for you. After all, it’s organized by the same team that puts on “The People’s Marathon,” so you can experience all the fun and pageantry at half the distance for a registration fee that’s scaled appropriately for a half marathon.
7- Its Half the Recovery Time. While the half marathon is far from easy and can still be strenuous and tiring, the time to recover is substantially shorter than when running a full marathon—depending on your fitness level. Since your recovery window is shorter with each half marathon, doing more than one per year isn’t unheard of.
8- Expo-nentially Better! One of the best parts about registering for a running event is the expo. The MCM Digital Expo: May 2021 will be available for all participants. It will host a series of vendors covering a range of interests and activities. View and engage with your favorite replenishments or a pair of new shoes. No matter what, there will be something for every runner’s needs.
9- Bling, Bling! You’ll Get a Medal (or Three!) and a Shirt. Runners who complete the journey, no matter where, will receive a unique medal, shirt, collectible bib, digital downloads, and a mission accomplished box.
10-You’re Only Half Crazy! Running a half marathon requires half the training miles of a full marathon, which means it’s not as time-consuming. Whether you’re a parent, a full-time worker or both, there’s a sweet spot with half marathons that make the training more enjoyable and still leaves room for a balanced life so you only feel half crazy.
11- We Have You Covered. This year the Marine Corps Marathon Organization has an inaugural Mission Ready: Historic Half event. This virtual interactive event spans the six weeks prior to Historic Half Weekend and offers three tiers of registration options based on the training miles runners will accumulate before their Historic Half event. This program will not only help any runner meet their running goals, but they will be mission-ready for any event they tackle this year.
12- Your 13.1 Miles of Fame. Even though this year will look a little different, know that the Marine Corps Marathon Organization and our running community will be there in spirit to support you along your entire 13.1-mile course.
13- You Love a Good After Party. You finished, now it’s time to celebrate! Finishing a half gives you even more reason to have your very own post- recovery celebration! You earned your miles, a massage, or eleven cupcakes. You deserve it and we would love to see your post-event pics at #RunWithTheMarines.
13.1-Because, Why Not? You can achieve anything you set your mind to. Don’t just imagine what it would be like to run a half marathon, do it! Not only will you have a feeling of accomplishment, you will also earn a lifetime of bragging rights. Who knows? Maybe running will become your newest passion (if it wasn’t already) and you will be hooked. Check out the MCMO 2021 event schedule and start setting goals.
Written by Veronica Gutierrez
Veronica Gutierrez is a proud military spouse with three children. An avid runner, she joined the MCM Organization as a marketing specialist in October 2019.
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