Start Line

It is recommended that runners arrive as early as possible before the start time to proceed through the security checkpoint, drop off bags and line up in the appropriate corral. The Metro will open at 6 a.m. on Marathon Day. The closest Metro access to the start is the Pentagon station (blue/yellow). Arlington Cemetery Station is the only station that will remain closed on Marathon morning until 8:30 a.m.

The MCM start line is located on Route 110 (all lanes) halfway between the Pentagon and Arlington Memorial Drive. Porta-potties are located in Runners Village and on Route 110 near the corrals.

Runners Village

Located in the Pentagon North Parking lot, Runners Village presented by Hyundai is the official launching pad for MCM participants. Runners may access Runners Village by MCM shuttles from Crystal City, or the Pentagon Metro Station (blue/yellow). Essential pre-start support is provided to runners including the MCM Info Tent, numerous port-a-johns, UPS Baggage Drop-off, prayer services starting at 6 a.m. and 6:45 a.m., a water station and motivating music and announcements. Just a short walk up the ramp from Runners Village delivers participants to the MCM start on Route 110 (and even more port-a-johns!).

UPS Drop Off

All participants will use the clear plastic bag provided at Packet Pick-up. UPS baggage trucks will be located in Runners Village at Pentagon North parking lot. A UPS Baggage Sticker will be available for every participant – runners will affix the sticker to their bag to facilitate easy identification.

The sticker, attached to the runners bib, features the runner's bib number and the assigned UPS truck for baggage drop off and pick-up on event day.

After the Marathon, MCM runners may pick up their bag in the Finish Festival located on Wilson Boulevard in Rosslyn, VA. Runners are asked not to deposit valuable items at baggage as neither the MCM, or UPS are liable for lost items.

Live Coverage

NBC Sports Washington logo

From the 90-minute live show at the start to the “Mission Accomplished” moment as runners cross the finish line, NBC Sports Washington has the MCM covered. Visit the NBC Sports Washington website for powerful runner profiles and video coverage of every runner crossing the finish line.

Participant Bibs

Runners are required to wear the official participant bib with the number on front of clothing. The bib and pins will be provided at Packet Pick-up. MCM Participant Bibs include two tear-off coupons along the bottom.

The coupons are to be exchanged for the participant mock neck shirt at the Health and Fitness Expo and free sample of Michelob Ultra in the Finish Festival Beer Garden.

Time Limit

The howitzer will official signal the start of the Marine Corps Marathon. The MCM course will remain open until 3:10 p.m.

Required Minimum Pace: 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 distance 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.

DC Gauntlet: At mile 17, MCM participants will reach “the DC Gauntlet” Those runners who do not make it through the DC Gauntlet by 12:33 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.

Beat the Bridge: All MCM participants who have made it through the Gauntlet must still continue to maintain a 12 minute-per-mile pace. To “Beat the Bridge” means to reach 14th & D Street by 1:15 p.m., just before Mile Marker 20 of the MCM course. Even after this point, runners must continue to maintain a 12 minute-per-mile pace.

After 1:15 p.m., the 14th Street Bridge will reopen to vehicular traffic making it unavailable to runners. Any runners unable to “Beat the Bridge” will be required to board straggler buses and be transported to the MCM Finish Festival in Rosslyn, VA.

Crystal City Gauntlet: At mile 22, participants must enter Crystal City before 1:49 p.m. to continue the MCM. Just like the DC Gauntlet, those participants unable to make it to this final timing check point will be diverted from the certified course and may continue running but will not complete the entire 26.2 miles nor be considered an official finisher.

Runners, who are unable to maintain the maximum pace and don’t reach the Gauntlets or Beat the Bridge by the time requirements, must board shuttle buses to be safely driven to the finish area as roadways are reopened for vehicular traffic. It is requested that when asked by a Marine or a law enforcement officer to board the bus, runners not hesitate or protest. This process is for the safety of all runners and Marines along the course. Machinery and large vehicles will be following close behind these shuttles to clean and reopen the roadways to vehicles.

Pace Teams

The MCM welcomes the Marathon Maniacs Pace Team to provide the valuable service of guiding runners to the finish with a specific time goal. Pace groups will target the following finish times: 3:10, 3:20, 3:30, 3:40, 3:50, 4:05, 4:20, 4:35, 5:00 and 'Beat the Bridge.' Runners can meet the Marathon Maniacs Pace Team at the Health & Fitness Expo.

The Marathon Maniacs is a running club of over 14,600 members who have run a total of 367,000 marathons and ultras to date. The Marathon Maniac Pacers at MCM have more than 1600 marathon finishes. Find out about the Pace Team at MCM. Are you signed up for more than one marathon right now? Then you might be a Maniac.


ChronoTrack Timing Systems, Inc. records the results of runners along the course. The system utilizes a light-weight disposable UHF RFID tag that stays mounted on the runner's bib, embedded in the reverse side. No action is required of a runner beyond wearing the assigned bib. The "B-tag" records a runner’s official time, beginning when a participant crosses the start line and concluding as he or she passes the finish, as well as split times every 5K along the course. Runners receive their B-tag on their race bib.

Gun time will be utilized in determining awards for the top three male and female finishers. All other awards are calculated by chip time.