The Marine Corps Marathon Organization (MCMO) has unveiled the 2021 event schedule.
With the coronavirus pandemic and social distancing still in effect, live events that draw large crowds remain paused for now, which means all MCMO events will be scheduled as virtual endeavors, unless otherwise noted. Runners must first be registered for a virtual event in order to participate in any events that are ultimately approved to host a live version. Virtual registration status confirms eligibility for participation in a live event but isn’t a guarantee. The approved size of the participant field will determine how many runners may shift from the virtual option.
“The pandemic brought unexpected challenges, but the response to virtual events has been overwhelmingly positive. Runners are undaunted and the MCMO team is doing its part to help runners program their 2021 calendars with new and familiar challenges, virtually but with the always-hopeful possibility of gathering live,” said MCMO Director Rick Nealis.
The provisional 2021 schedule offers multiple events of various distances for all levels and ages from January through November. Whether its fan-favorite events like the Marine Corps 17.75K or a brand new challenge like the team-oriented Desert Storm 218 Miler, the MCMO has an exciting year planned for you.
Desert Storm 218-Miler
From January 17 to February 28, runners ages 10 and up will have the opportunity to virtually complete 218 miles—the approximate distance the Marines covered upon arrival between the main airport in Al Jubail, Saudi Arabia to the middle of Kuwait City during Operation Desert Storm, also known as the liberation of Kuwait—in honor of the 30th anniversary. Interactive tracking map offers unique engagement with the terrain and history of this decisive operation.
Inspired by the final challenge of recruit training for the United States Marine Corps, known as the Crucible—an extended training exercise where recruits are broken down into squads before facing tasks that test their physical strength, skills and the values they learned throughout training—the Quantico Crucible will challenge participants to complete 10 fitness challenges after covering a 5K distance.
Crossroads Trail 15K
Happening at the same time as the Belleau Wood 8K and replacing the Recon Ruck, the Crossroads Trail 15K sends participants on a 9.3-mile off-road journey, that if held live, would traverse the hills and trails of the Crossroads of the Corps, Marine Corps Base Quantico.
Returning for its second year is the dual-skilled event featuring a 5K run, a 20K bike ride and ending with another 5K run. This event will be offered as a virtual-only competition in 2021.
Semper Fun Mile
Open to runners of all ages, the Semper Fun Mile is a one-mile, just-for-fun run the entire family can enjoy. The top five schools with the most student participation will be presented the Healthy School Award, a monetary prize given to the physical education departments by MCM partner, Sodexo.
The Distinguished Participant medal is earned for a year of running with the Marines. Distinguished status is open to runners of all ages and ability levels and is the perfect opportunity for motivated individuals to participate in the MCM Event Series hosted on or near Marine Corps Base Quantico. Ambitious runners who seek to earn this coveted title and exclusive medal in 2021 must register for events from four of the five tiers, either in person or virtual. Only one event from a tier may count as a Distinguished Participant qualifier.
- Tier One: Quantico Crucible
- Tier Two: Historic Half events (13.1, Semper 5ive or Devil Dog Double);
- Tier Three: Belleau Wood 8K or Crossroads Trail 15K;
- Tier Four: Marine Corps Duathlon or Quantico 12K;
- Tier Five: Turkey Trot 10K or Semper Fun Mile
Semper Fidelis Challenge
Returning for its second year is the Semper Fi Challenge. The two-event challenge includes either the Historic Half or the Devil Dog Double in May 2021 and the MCM or the MCM50K in October 2021. Runners must finish both events to earn the special medal.
The MCM Trifecta is back! Ambitious runners can register for three MCM Weekend events including the virtual MCM, MCM50K and MCM10K to complete the Trifecta. The challenge will reward finishers with a stunning Bravo Zulu coin in addition to the corresponding finisher medals.
Are you Mission Ready? Runners participating in Historic Half or MCM Weekend events can also register for the brand new Mission Ready events. Each six-week challenge offers three tiers of registration options based on accumulated training miles for runners to complete before their Historic Half or MCM event. Participants will log their miles on a virtual map as they become Mission Ready. When the milestone is achieved within the dedicated timeframe, runners will earn combinations of a bronze dog tag, silver lapel pin or gold lapel pin depending on the mileage tier.
Check out the registration and event dates in the above graphic and get ready to #RunWithTheMarines!