MCM spectators have proven highly successful in their ability to motivate and cheer for loved ones, friends, co-workers and even complete strangers. Bring signs and a plan to best navigate the sidelines of the "The People's Marathon."
Spectators can see their runner in as many as five locations on the course. With many road closures, taking Metro is the best way to get around but consult the course map as most locations are walkable. Follow the plan below to optimize viewing potential and catch a runner in action!
- Location #1: Kick off the day by watching the opening ceremonies at the MCM Start Line on Route 110 in Arlington, Virginia. Access this location by Metro using Rosslyn or Pentagon Station.
- Location #2: After the start, take a leisurely stroll across the Arlington Memorial Drive to the Lincoln Memorial in DC. Here you’ll be able to see runners at mile 10 and later, mile 16.
- Location #3: From the Lincoln Memorial, head east on Independence Avenue, past the Washington Monument to access the National Mall. Along with the world-famous Smithsonian museums, you’ll see runners at miles 17-19.
- Location #4: Next, hop on the Metro via the Smithsonian station and head to the Crystal City Station.
- Location #5: For the final leg of your journey, head over to the legendary Marine Corps War Memorial and the MCM Finish Line. Take Metro to Rosslyn or the MCM shuttle from 23rd Street in Crystal City. The finish line offers bleacher seating to watch the final ascent and push to the finish. Plan to reunite with runners in the family link up area at the Finish Festival in Rosslyn.
- Respect the Course. Staying clear of course boundaries. This means don't cross the course. Stay on the curb or sidewalks to avoid narrowing the streets for runners, and most importantly, listen to law enforcement and Marines with regard to the best location to stand and cheer.
- Timing Is Everything. Know the runner’s projected pace-per-mile to aid in determining where and when they should reach certain points in the course. Take out the guess work and sign up for Track-A-Runner text updates through the MCM website or App.
- Getting Around by Metro. Metro is a great option to reach the far corners of the course quickly. Be aware that a weekend wait for Metro could be up to 15 minutes. Spectators should purchase a Metro One-Day Pass for an easier experience. Metro will open at 6:00 a.m. on MCM day.
- Information. Visit the MCM Info tent in the Finish Festival on the Route 50 overpass in Rosslyn, or in Runners Village in the Pentagon North Parking lot. The American Red Cross will have a medical information tent at the finish line.
- Get Noticed. It is easier for runners to find their supporters who hold a sign or banner and are wearing brightly colored clothing. Its also crucial to know a marathoner's bib number and outfit. It's an imperfect science trying to time the convergence of a runner and spectator. If you suspect you've missed each other, move to the next viewing location.
- Use Technology. Visit the MCM website or download the MCM App to access live results and updated split times.
- Be Social. Use #RunWithTheMarines on all social postings to add to the MCM digital story.
- Reunite with Runner. Runners and supporters should meet in the Family Link Up area, part of the Finish Festival in Rosslyn. Choose the first letter of the runner's last name as the pre-planned location to reunite. The link-up areas are designated by 13-foot tall, yellow towers with letters of the alphabet prominently displayed
Track a Runner
The MCM offers tools to chart a runner’s success in a tweet, over email, through a Facebook post or by text. Spectators and runners can register for tracking services through the new MCM App or at www.marinemarathon.com.
For the runner…Runner Broadcast Service
Runners may announce their progress every 10K of the marathon course by automatically posting timing updates on their Facebook timeline or over a Twitter feed.
For the supporter…Track a Runner
Relatives, friends and running buddies will all be able to follow a runner’s progress along the MCM course in real time. The virtual support crew can sign up to receive updates for one or multiple runners from the 10K, 20K, 30K, 40K and finish-line split locations. The timing data may be delivered by text or email or posted on personal Facebook and/or Twitter pages.
Using real timing data, Map Track charts a runner’s progress by moving a runner-shaped icon along the MCM map. This visual tool is a great way to see how a runner or numerous runners compare to each other or fare against the leaders.