Going Green

The Marine Corps Marathon (MCM) earned gold certification, by the Council for Responsible Sport for being socially and environmentally responsible as a world-class running event. The MCM was recognized for enacting best practices becoming the largest marathon at the time to earn this distinction among environmentally-conscious sporting events.


According to the Council, the MCMO earned credit for both meeting and exceeding standards for Effective Planning and Communications; Procurement of products and supplies and work with partners with environmental focus; Resource Management; Public Access and Equity for all participants and for the MCM’s ongoing efforts toward building a Community Legacy.

The MCM was awarded Silver-level certification in 2009 and again in 2011. The Council awards certification every three years.

Green Stats

In conjunction with Arlington County’s Solid Waste Bureau, nearly 1,500 pounds of banana and orange peels were collected from runners for composting. In an effort to reduce utilization of landfills, 10,760 plastic jugs and 2,830 cardboard boxes were recycled.

In addition, the MCM and its partners collected 7.46 tons of clothing that were cleaned and donated to local Arlington and Washington, DC-area shelters following the Marathon. Also during MCM Weekend, visitors of the Health & Fitness Expo were encouraged to retire their high-mileage running shoes by donating them at the event. The MCM collected 650 pounds of shoes and delivered them to a program that provides providing running shoes to those in need in the United States and around the globe.

At the Expo

MCMO encourages all participants and spectators to take advantage of the free shuttles to reduce the carbon footprint. Free roundtrip shuttles will run from Eisenhower (yellow) and Van Dorn (Blue) Metro station to the Gaylord National Resort during the Expo hours. Shuttles are wheelchair and stroller accessible.

Runners may also reduce the dependence on paper by downloading the e-Confirmation Card and displaying it at Packet Pick-up on a phone.

MCMO will be partnering with AMVETS to collect gently used shoes. AMVETS will collect gently donated shoes and distribute them who honorably served in the United States military, including the Reserve and Guard.

Move For Hunger

Move For Hunger will also be at the Health & Fitness Expo. Move For Hunger is a national non-profit organization that has created a sustainable way to reduce food waste and fight hunger by mobilizing leaders of the moving, relocation, and multi-family industries to provide their customers, clients, and residents with the opportunity to donate their food when they move. Since 2009, Move For Hunger has delivered more than 15 million pounds of food to food banks all across the United States & Canada. That's the equivalent of 12.5 million meals. Move For Hunger's network now includes nearly 1000 moving companies, over 1500 multi family apartment communities, and many of the world's leading relocation companies. All of the food that is collected by Move For Hunger and its network always stays local to the community in which it was rescued.

40 million Americans face hunger every day; that's 1 in 8 adults and 1 in 6 children unsure of where they will have their next meal. Meanwhile, 40% of the food we produce every year is wasted. 35 million people move every year-if we rescued just 1 pound of food from each of them, we would be able to provide 29 million meals to families in need.

Adopt A Mile

The MCM annually recruits dedicated volunteer groups for the ‘Adopt-a-Mile’ program. This volunteer assignment includes augmenting clean-up efforts along the Marathon course. Groups provide a minimum of 18 volunteers (minimum age of 10) to clean the grass and roadways of any event-generated debris along an assigned mile of the MCM course. Each group participating in the Adopt-a-Mile program receives a monetary stipend for their support of the runners and U.S. Marines.

Two Wheel Valet

Two Wheel Valet service will be available for participants that would like to bike to the MCM start. The bike drop off and pick-up area will be located in Rosslyn between 19th & Oak/Wilson Blvd. Two Wheel Valet will virtually check participants in and assign everyone to bike rack number. Event participants will be able to walk to the MCM start and retrieve their bike upon completing the Marathon until 5:00 p.m.

At the Finish

In partnership with Fyffes, the MCM offers composting receptacles in the MCM Finish Festival located in Rosslyn, VA. Additionally, the MCM presents finishers with a reusable recovery jacket, greatly reducing the amount of trash generated by other forms of post-run wraps.

Arlington County will offer two Water Stations set up in the Finish Festival on Marathon day on the corners of Meade Street/Arlington Blvd. and Fort Myer Drive/Wilson Blvd. making it convenient for runners to refill water bottles.

ClearStream recycling containers will be placed throughout the Finish Festival in Rosslyn to recycle bottles provided to runners at hospitality.

Further, the MCMO proudly supports the reseeding of the grounds of the Marine Corps War Memorial by funding this effort annually.

On the Course

In an attempt to energize and fuel runners, the MCM will introduce water monsters on the 14th Street Bridge. This 125 gallon dispenser will offer multiple spigots for runners to fill personal water bottles. Cups will not be dispensed at this location. Adding this self-serve water station supports MCM green initiatives and also helps runners through a stretch of the course that had previously been without water from mile marker 19 to just in front of mile 22.

Climate Action

The Council for Responsible Sport announced that the Marine Corps Marathon was an early signatory to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) “Sports for Climate Action Initiative.”

The “Sports for Climate Action Initiative” invites sport event hosts to declare their recognition of “the critical need for cities, regions, companies and investors from around the globe to help implement the Paris Climate Agreement and accelerate the transformative change needed to reach greenhouse gas (GHG) emission neutrality in the second half of the twenty-first century.” It offers five principles to guide forward action that leverages the global popularity of sport to help make a real difference in the battle against climate change, as well as help minimize the environmental footprint of sporting events.