My first marathon was the Marine Corps Marathon in 2008. The decision to run a marathon was not one that was well thought out. It just somehow came out of my mouth one day when I was chatting with a friend. Next thing I knew, I was finding a training plan and planning my race weekend. Never mind that the longest race I’d ever done was the Army 10 Miler and that I could hardly walk afterwards.
So, when I saw that the topic for Friday Five this week was “Five reasons to Run…”, Marine Corps Marathon immediately jumped to mind. It was an amazing experience I’ll never forget!
1. The Marines – I admit it. I’m shallow. I like it when men in uniform hand me water and Gatorade. If nothing else, it takes your mind off of the pain as you get farther into the race.
2. It’s a great course – The course for the Marine Corps Marathon takes you around the National Mall for a view of one of the best parts of the Nation’s Capital. You hit this area around mile 16, which is a great time to have lots of things to look at and reasons to focus outside yourself.
3. The spectators are awesome and plentiful – Just past midway into the race, you head near the Mall. There are spectators everywhere! So many signs, so many little kids to high five. It’s pretty awesome! Then once you get over the bridge, you head into Crystal City. The energy there is unbelievable. People are packed in, cheering for the race. This is where many of the locals go to cheer and it gives you a boost as you head into the final miles. And finally, the finish line. Wall to wall people cheering. Nothin’ negative about that.
4. It’s a well run race – I’ve run a ton of races since Marine Corps Marathon. Many of them have been well organized. Marine Corps Marathon makes them all look like they are as well run as my household (which is to say, absolutely chaotic). From packet pickup to start to water stops to the finish line, everything proceeds as it should and in a well run manner. Given the number of people that run this race, that’s pretty darn amazing.
5. The pride and emotions you feel at the end. Take the normal pride in yourself that you feel when you complete a marathon. Multiply that by the pride in your nation that you feel as you run past the monuments. Then run past the tribute to the fallen soldiers. You will be left feeling like you belong to so much more than just a marathon.
Thanks to Cynthia, Mar, and Courtney for hosting the Friday Five and Good Luck to everyone running the Marine Corps Marathon on Sunday!
30 thoughts on “5 reasons to run the Marine Corps Marathon”
I have been hearing so many great things about this race! I definitely need to try to run it someday! For next year I am sort of thinking marine corps or chicago but that’ss till a long way off! Thanks for sharing some info about it- it is definitely helpful to know that it is organized- for such a big event I’m sure it would be a mess if it wasn’t!
I have heard a lot of great things about this course. I think I would like to do it sometime actually, but at the moment my coach will only let me run 1-2 per year, and I have to be very selective. I think I am going to do London next 🙂 It will go on my list, don’t worry 🙂
I would agree with all your reasons. MCM was my first (and only so far). Sooo lucky that it is our “hometown race”. It is even fun to spectate it or run the 10K.
Agreed on all. Extremely well run and the spectators are unlike anything i’ve ever experienced before. Truly an amazing race and I’m getting excited just thinking about it again!!
ahhh I’m excited just thinking about it!! all very good reasons 🙂
This is definitely 100% on my bucket list. I’m ashamed to admit that I’ve never been to our nation’s capital (eek!) but I can’t imagine a better way to see it.
I’ve heard so many great things about MCM. If I ever choose to run a marathon, MCM will definitely be high on my list.
this is a wonderful post. perhaps we should run MCM next year, friend? 🙂 just saying…
do ittttt courtneyyy!!
I have friends who have the marathon or 10k and they rave about it. Very well run, emotional, inspiring, and of course, Marines.
I’ve been thinking about running this next year… glad to hear you recommend it. DC isn’t too far away and my husband’s brother lives there… hmmm. 🙂
This is definitely on my list! I wish I didn’t live so far away.
I keep hearing so many good things about this race! I told my husband just the other day that if I decided to run a marathon it would probably be this one. But good to know that there’s a 10k option too.
I’m so excited for all of our friends running this weekend (and so glad that I am not LOL)
My sister will be running MCM on Sunday and I am So excited for her ( and everyone else that will be running).
Great list. So many people I follow running it. One I eventually want to tackle, especially considering I live in NoVA, I really should.
Yeah, if you are going to run a marathon, you should run the hometown race. ;o)
It sounds like an amazing event.
It is. Huge, overwhelming, but amazing.
I have always heard the best things about MCM and I think if I ever decide to take on 26.2 this would be one to think about doing for sure!
It’s definitely one to have on the list of options.
Well, all that, sure, but didn’t Oprah run it? ;P
Just kidding, I’ve heard its a really great race….definitely one I’d like to run!
Yeah, and maybe if I run it again, I can actually beat her LOL.
MCM is on my to-run list. Chad and I were just talking about adding it to our race calendar for next year.
Next year is the 40th race, so it would be a great year to do it. I’m considering… And if you do come out, let me know and we can meet up!
My favorite race EVER!
It is an awesome race. I’ve almost convinced myself to throw my name in the lottery for next year.
this past sunday’s MCM was my first full marathon so i have no other fulls to compare it to, but i would definitely agree after the fact that all 5 of those reasons are great to run. plenty of DC races offer the monuments to view, but i think this is the part that sticks out as the most true – “You will be left feeling like you belong to so much more than just a marathon.” SO. TRUE.
Awesome — and all 100% true!! Can’t wait to redeem myself this year!!
This was fun to read! I think I probably read it before, but it was great to spark my enthusiasm (even more!) for this weekend. OORAH!