Runner Safety

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

November 16, 2020 - In compliance with new guidelines directed by the Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia about gatherings, the Marine Corps Marathon Organization (MCMO) will no longer host a live version of the Turkey Trot 10K and Mile aboard Marine Corps Base Quantico.

The event originally had been planned as both, a live version, to be held on Saturday, November 21 with an accompanying virtual option. More than 1,500 participants are registered across both event options.

Registration for all those who signed up for the live event will have the option to shift to virtual participation or defer their entry to 2021. This transaction may be conducted through the runners’ MCM registration accounts on the Haku platform. Runners must finalize their decision by Thursday, November 19 at noon eastern.

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August 13, 2020 - To prioritize the health and safety of the MCM running community and staff, we’re taking preventative measures and implementing the following safety guidelines for all in-person events to help mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

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July 20, 2020 – The 2020 Marine Corps Marathon (MCM) Weekend events scheduled for Friday, October 23 through Sunday, October 25 in Arlington, Virginia and the nation’s capital, will shift to virtual-only status due to ongoing public health concerns and the guidelines of local governments.

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June 24, 2020. At this time, preparations for the 2020 Marine Corps Marathon (MCM) Weekend are proceeding as planned. In addition to the live marathon and ultra events scheduled for Sunday, October 25 in Arlington, Virginia and the nation’s capital, the MCM and MCM50K will now be offered as virtual options as well.

“The Marine Corps Marathon Organization (MCMO) team has been exploring various approaches and scenarios that prioritize the health and safety of our running community and meet the high standards of the 45th anniversary event,” said Rick Nealis, MCMO director. “Many factors weigh into a runner’s decision to participate in the live event so we are extending new options to support the largest participation in this landmark event whether virtual or in person.”

All currently registered MCM and MCM50K participants can choose between running live or transitioning to a virtual event, which must be completed any time between September 27 – November 10.

For registered runners who opt to run virtually, the guidance is to defer the entry to 2021, 2022 or 2023 and then re-register for the virtual event by July 1, 2020. Further instructions will be sent to the e-mail address provided by participants during registration within the next 24 hours.

Virtual entry fee is $45 for both events and includes the shipping and handling of the participant shirt, commemorative bib, patch and finisher medal. Runners will also have access to a digital event program, personalized finisher certificate and the Motigo MCM Audio Experience. At this time, access to the virtual event is only available to previously registered runners.

Additionally, due to the new time requirements established for the live event schedule, participants will be required to maintain a 12 minute-per-mile pace or faster to complete the 26.2-mile and 31-mile distances rather than the previous benchmark of 14 minutes-per-mile. Runners who do not meet the required pace must defer and switch to the virtual events, which have no time limit.

“This [12 minute pace] is a difficult change but an essential one,” Nealis explained. “The need to establish new operational procedures to keep runners safe while following social distancing protocols requires rethinking the entire operational set up of the MCM. These decisions have altered the timelines and shortened the window of access to the course.”

“Just as Marines are deployed all across the globe, we celebrate that in this anniversary year, MCM runners will be in their home duty stations accomplishing the mission with pride,” added Nealis.

Ambitious runners can register for the virtual MCM or MCM50K when a limited number entries are made available to the public on July 2. Registration remains open for the virtual MCM10K. MCM runners will earn the corresponding finisher medals including the 45th MCM medal featuring actual volcanic ash from Iwo Jima.

Thank you for understanding. All questions may be directed to MCMCustomerService@usmc-mccs.org.

For additional information about COVID-19, please read the latest report from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) or your local health department website.

June 22, 2020. The Marine Corps Marathon Organization (MCMO) today announced changes to the 2020 MCM Weekend schedule by removing the live MCM Kids Run and MCM10K from the lineup of events happening on October 24-25. The MCM10K will now be a virtual-only event. Additionally, the MCM Kids Run has been rebranded to the MCM Semper Fun Mile, a one-mile virtual event for kids to run with their parents or guardians.

“Every decision we are making with regard to the MCM Weekend schedule is intended to maximize the operational bandwidth required to host the 45th Marine Corps Marathon in Arlington, Virginia on October 25th,” said Rick Nealis, director of the Marine Corps Marathon Organization (MCMO). “We know shifting the MCM10K and the Mile to virtual-only status greatly impacts those individuals who set a goal for themselves or their children to run with the Marines. We appreciate the understanding of these runners and promise a rewarding and engaging virtual experience.”

Registration for the virtual MCM10K opened to the public on Wednesday, June 3 at www.marinemarathon.com at $33 per entry. Additional entries have been added for anyone interested in running the popular 6.2-mile event, which must be completed between September 27 –November 10. All participants in the virtual event will be mailed a bib, the official event shirt and an impressive finisher medal. All finishers earn a personalized digital certificate.

The new MCM Semper Fun Mile is open to runners of all ages. This family-friendly virtual event is an opportunity for kids to get out and run a mile alongside trusted adults. The virtual run must be completed between September 27 - November 10. All participants will receive by mail a finisher medal, participant shirt and commemorative bib. Registration is open to children and adults starting on Wednesday, June 24 at noon Eastern at www.marinemarathon.com. Individual entries cost $20. Organized school or community groups of 10 or more are eligible for a reduced $13 entry fee by forgoing the mailing service and opting for group pick-up at Marine Corps Base Quantico – Fowler Hall.

For group registration, contact Veronica Gutierrez.

For additional information about COVID-19, please read the latest report from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) or your local health department website.

June 2, 2020. The 2020 Marine Corps Marathon (MCM) Weekend is proceeding as planned for October while implementing safety measures and following the guidance of government and public health officials. In addition to the planned live version, the MCM10K scheduled for October 25, 2020 will now be offered as a virtual event. On a space availability basis, runners who register for the virtual MCM10K may seek to transfer to the live MCM10K at a later date. Runners should consider the virtual event as a stand-alone option. Registration in the virtual doesn’t imply guaranteed access to a live MCM10K. Read more.

May 18, 2020. The Marine Corps Marathon Organization (MCMO) is rescheduling events originally planned for June 20. Now, the Belleau Wood 8K and Recon Ruck will occur alongside the Quantico 12K on August 22 with corresponding virtual options. Run Amuck will become a do-it-yourself (DIY), virtual-only experience. Additionally, the Quantico Tri will be removed from the event schedule and be replaced by a new virtual option.

Also new, the August 22 event start lines will be located at Lejeune Field on Marine Corps Base Quantico.

Participants may run a 4.97 mile course in the Belleau Wood 8K; enjoy a 7.46 mile run in the Quantico 12K; or trek through Marine Corps Base Quantico for the same 12K distance while wearing a weighted pack of 10lbs or more in Recon Ruck. In addition to the live versions of these events on August 22, virtual options will be available.

The popular Run Amuck will become a virtual-only, choose-your-own adventure event with a checklist of fitness challenges, scavenger hunt adventures and DIY possibilities.

Participants can still complete the Crossroads Challenge by running the live or virtual Belleau Wood 8K or the Recon Ruck and participating in the DIY Run Amuck.

Replacing the Quantico Triathlon is the virtual inaugural Marine Corps Duathlon. This new dual skilled event will feature a 5K run, followed by a 20.4K bike ride and end with a 5K run.

“Marines know about accomplishing the mission in every clime and place and that’s the opportunity presented to our runners,” said Rick Nealis, director of the MCM Organization. “Whether they’re running with the Marines in August or being their own race director, it’s inspiring to see their results. I am proud that we are able to bring the spirit of the United States Marine Corps right to their doorsteps.”

Registration for these events open at noon ET on Wednesday, May 20, 2020 at www.marinemarathon.com. Previously registered runners will have the option to:

  • Switch to an August 22 event on Marine Corps Base Quantico
  • Transfer to the virtual option
  • Defer the fee for credit to MCMO events through November 2021 not including the MCM or MCM50K.

Previously registered runners have until Wednesday, June 10 at 11:59 p.m. to choose one of the abovementioned options. Runners will be emailed further instructions including a link to their personal event change form within the next 24 hours. This link is exclusive to the individual runner and may only be accessed through the email address provided by participants during registration.

The Quantico 12K, the Belleau Wood 8K and Recon Ruck cost $45 per entry for live events. The virtual entry fee for all events is $28. The Crossroads Challenge entry fee will be determined by the mix of live and/or virtual events selected.

Participants in both the virtual and in-person events will receive the official event shirt. Belleau Wood 8K, Quantico 12K, Crossroads Challenge and Duathlon finishers will earn a spectacular, originally designed medal. Recon Ruck finishers receive a patch and those who complete the DIY Run Amuck will be awarded a special coin.

Thank you for understanding. All questions may be directed to MCMCustomerService@usmc-mccs.org.

For additional information about COVID-19, please read the latest report from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) or your local health department website.

April 7, 2020. Registration for events hosted by the MCM Organization has been temporarily halted. This includes Run Amuck, Recon Ruck, Belleau Wood 8K and the Crossroads Challenge. These events are scheduled for June 20, 2020 aboard Marine Corps Base Quantico. The opening of registration for the MCM10K and MCM Kids Run originally slated for April 13 will be delayed. Following a brief period, during which the MCM Organization will review event operations and protocols, registration will reopen. At that time, any procedural changes or updates will be announced.

March 31, 2020 - On Monday, the Governor of Virginia, Ralph Northam issued a statewide Stay at Home order until June 10 to protect the health and safety of Virginians and mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Following the guidance of government and health officials, the Marine Corps Marathon Organization (MCMO) has announced that 2020 Marine Corps Historic Half Weekend events, scheduled for Friday, May 15 through Sunday, May 17 have been cancelled to support the wellbeing of the running community, residents, Marines and partners.

A refund on registration fees will not be provided. The MCMO has prioritized rewarding the loyalty of registered runners while offering alternative solutions for runners to participate in Historic Half Weekend.

Registered Runners
Beginning April 3, those currently registered for Historic Half Weekend can:

  • Defer entry into next year’s Historic Half Weekend on May 16, 2021 with no additional fees. Runners who defer to 2021 are eligible to re-register for the 2020 virtual event (at fees detailed below).
  • Transfer to virtual option. Complete a run of the distance of your choosing (5 miles, 13.1 miles or 18.1 miles) and receive participant shirt, finisher medal and certificate, as well as the new Motigo Historic Half Audio Experience.

The deadline to defer and register for virtual participation is May 16, 2020. Further instructions will be sent to the e-mail address provided by participants during registration within the next 48 hours.

All currently registered runners will receive a 30% LOYALTY discount on registration for any new and remaining 2020 MCM Event Series date, including the MCHH Virtual Run, the MCM10K or the MCM Kids Run during MCM Weekend in October. Registered runners who defer to 2021 may apply this discount to the new Historic Half virtual option. Discount codes will be sent directly via e-mail.

New Virtual Option
On April 3, a new registration for the Historic Half Weekend Virtual Open will be available to ANYONE motivated to complete the Half, Semper5ive or Devil Dog Double. Virtual entry fee is $28 for Historic Half and Semper 5ive; $35 for Devil Dog Double; and includes the shipping and handling of the participant shirt, finisher medal and certificate and the Motigo Historic Half Audio Experience.

March 27, 2020 - We want to support you, our runners, as you comply with the guidance of local and national leadership and health officials while maintaining a commitment to staying safe and leading a healthy lifestyle.

Historic Half Weekend remains on schedule at this current time, we know this means for some the decision to run the Historic Half is out of your hands and for others there are barriers in the way of your ability to participate.

While a refund on registration fees will not be provided, it is important that we offer these alternative solutions for registered runners to participate in Historic Half Weekend with no additional costs:

  • Defer your entry into next year’s Historic Half Weekend on May 16, 2021.
  • Switch your participant category to "Virtual Run." Complete a run of your designated distance (5ive miles, 13.1 miles or 18.1 miles) and receive your participant shirt and finisher medal. Directions will be provided for runners to upload virtual results.
  • Maintain the plan to run during Historic Half Weekend.

The deadline to defer or shift to virtual participation is May 7, 2020.

March 20, 2020 - The Marine Corps Marathon Organization (MCMO) continues to closely monitor the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19). We find ourselves in an unprecedented global health crisis and the safety of our runners, volunteers, Marines, spectators and staff remains our main concern.

Last week, we made the difficult decision to cancel the Marine Corps 17.75K and Motivational Dinner, in accordance with the recommendation of the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) to avoid having large groups of people in close proximity for eight weeks.

As of today, there have been no changes to MCMO events scheduled for later in May and June, including the 2020 Marine Corps Historic Half on May 17. We will continue to adhere to policies put forth by the federal, state and local governments and provide updates as quickly as possible in this rapidly evolving situation.

This is new and different and difficult for all of us. But despite the challenges, the MCM running community remains strong and supportive as we weather this storm together. With resources like the MCM website and our social media channels, the MCMO will continue to share details with open, honest and transparent communications. This is our pledge to you.

March 12, 2020 - The health and safety of our runners, volunteers, Marines, spectators and staff are top priorities for the Marine Corps Marathon Organization (MCMO). Due to the impact and development of coronavirus (COVID-19) and under the guidance of government and health officials, the 2020 Marine Corps 17.75K, scheduled for March 28, and the accompanying Motivational Dinner, have been cancelled.

We appreciate the support of our running community through this rapidly evolving situation. This was a very difficult decision and we know the cancellation is disappointing news for many.

That being said, all 17.75K registrants will still earn "Access Granted" for a guaranteed spot in the 45th Marine Corps Marathon (MCM) in October. Registration with the Guaranteed Access code must be completed by Tuesday, March 17 at 11:59 p.m.

All runners and guests who purchased a ticket to the 17.75K Motivational Dinner will receive a $20 credit for each ticket purchased. This credit may be used toward the purchase of any other MCMO event registration in 2020.

While a refund on registration fees will not be provided, we are offering the following options to all registered 17.75K participants at no additional cost:

  • Defer your entry into next year’s Marine Corps 17.75K in March 2021.
  • Switch your 17.75K participant category to “Virtual Run” and complete an 11.03 mile run by the original event date to receive your participant shirt and finisher medal.
  • Transfer your entry to the Belleau Wood 8K in June or the Quantico 12K in August.

Runners have until Tuesday, March 17 at 11:59 p.m. to choose one of the abovementioned options. Further instructions will be sent to the e-mail address provided by participants during registration within the next 24 hours.

Thank you for understanding. All questions may be directed to MCMCustomerService@usmc-mccs.org.

For additional information about COVID-19, please read the latest report from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) or your local health department website.

March 6, 2020 - The Marine Corps Marathon Organization (MCMO) is closely monitoring the impact and development of coronavirus (COVID-19) to ensure the health and safety of our runners, volunteers, spectators and staff.

There have been no scheduling changes to any MCMO event and the 2020 Marine Corps 17.75K is proceeding as planned. Runners are encouraged to follow the suggested health guidelines and take the appropriate safety precautions including regular hand washing, covering mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, staying home when sick and avoiding close contact with anyone showing signs of illness. MCMO will adhere to policies put forth by the federal, state and local governments and provide ongoing updates as necessary.

More info available at Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, Virginia Department of Health and World Health Organization.

Event Safety

Safety and security are top priorities for Marine Corps Marathon organizers and the event’s law enforcement partners. Runners are allowed to carry, or wear, hydration backpacks (Camelbak), hydration vests and/or fuel belts while completing the Marathon, Historic Half or MCM-organized courses.

Runners will not be allowed to wear any other type of backpack or rucksack without the authorization of the MCM Director. Please contact the MCM office to appeal for consideration.

The wearing of any mask, hood or other device whereby a substantial portion of the face is hidden -- or covered -- so as to conceal the identity of the wearer is strictly prohibited.

Runners and spectators cannot bring glass containers to any event site. Flammable liquids are also prohibited from being carried into any event location. In addition, all drones will be prohibited at MCM events. The Washington Metropolitan area is designated a “no-drone zone” by the Federal Aviation Administration. Drones are also prohibited in all National Park Service locations, including the MCM course.

The MCM encourages runner behavior resulting in minimal impact on National Parks, public streets and other locations that comprise event courses.

Event Access

Runners and spectators are required to access the Marathon, Historic Half and MCM10K start and finish areas through screening points. Limiting the number of items brought to these events will greatly reduce the wait time at these entry points.

All runner and spectator bags, backpacks, purses, etc., will be subject to search by law enforcement at the screening points. Runners and spectators should never leave bags unattended anywhere near a course or the start and finish areas. Only clear plastic bags issued to participants will be allowed at baggage drop-off.

All participant bags will be issued during Packet Pick-up. The MCM-issued bib, provided during Packet Pick-up, serves as the most recognizable identification for participants of running events. Prior to arriving at the start area, runners must have the bib fastened to the front of their clothing.

Expo and Packet Pick-up

Security measures will be in place at the Health & Fitness Expo. All participants are required to present their E-Card in either printed form, or on a phone, to obtain their official bib and event-day materials. Proxy pick-up remains available for designated events.

In order to have a designated individual pick up the packet for a registered participant, the runner must sign his or her E-Card and provide the individual attending the Expo a photocopy of their Photo ID (driver's license, government ID, passport). The proxy will be required to sign the form and also show and provide a photocopy of their own Photo ID.

See Something, Say Something

Runners and spectators are asked by the MCM and its law enforcement partners to actively observe their surroundings while also supporting the procedures put in place to ensure the safety of all. If something suspicious is observed, individuals should report it immediately, either by calling 911 or by asking a police officer, or U.S. Marine for assistance. Event status updates, weather and news alerts will be disseminated on social media and the event website.