Marine Corps Marathon
27 October 2019
The mission of the Marine Corps Marathon is to showcase physical fitness and generate community goodwill in order to promote the high standards and discipline of the Marine Corps. Annually ranked as one of the largest marathons in the US and the world, the MCM has been recognized as "Best Marathon in the Mid-Atlantic," "Best for Families" and "Best for Beginners." Runners from all 50 states and more than 60 countries participate in the MCM and an annual calendar of events including the Marine Corps Historic Half in Fredericksburg, VA in May and the MCM Event Series conducted aboard Marine Corps Base Quantico. Organized by the men and women of the United States Marine Corps, the MCM is the largest marathon in the world that doesn't offer prize money, instead celebrating the honor, courage and commitment of all finishers.
The course, which varies slightly from year to year, is certified by USA Track and Field. The current route starts in Arlington, Virginia, on Route 110 and winds its way through Rosslyn along Lee Highway before turning on Spout Run and the George Washington Memorial Parkway. Runners experience a climb on Lee Highway in the first few miles of the course, but are rewarded with a descent along Spout Run and the Parkway.After crossing Key Bridge into Georgetown, runners turn toward the Palisades Community when the course follows Canal Road, up to the reservoir and down MacArthur Boulevard. The course guides runners down popular M Street in Georgetown.Runners turn on Wisconsin Avenue and then K Street. The course passes the Kennedy Center and guides runners to the back of the Lincoln Memorial before continuing on Ohio Drive into Hains Point at the halfway point.Outside West Potomac Park, runners get a glimpse of the Jefferson Memorial and Tidal Basin. On Independence Avenue, competitors run by the newly unveiled Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial and FDR Memorial. The runners loop back along Independence Avenue on the side closest to the National Mall and the Korean War Veterans Memorial and National World War II Memorial before making a left turn onto 15th Street at the Washington Monument.At Madison Drive, runners pass the north side of the National Mall, running by the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History and the National Gallery of Art. After a loop around the reflecting pool in front of the U.S. Capitol, runners continue along the south side of the National Mall past the Smithsonian Castle. Runners move along Jefferson Drive and turn onto the 14th Street to marathon's "Beat the Bridge" checkpoint at mile 20 before returning to Virginia.For the last 10K, runners enjoy the color and energy of Crystal City. At the Pentagon, runners pass in close proximity to the Pentagon Memorial honoring the victims of 9/11. Finally, the course unfurls alongside the Arlington National Cemetery then offers a final, up-hill challenge to the finish at the Marine Corps War Memorial. This finish has remained unchanged since the inaugural running of the MCM in 1976.
Pentagon Memorial honoring the victims of 9/11.