Updated: Mar 31, 2020
Marine Corps Marathon
Finish Time: 4:23:51
I signed up for this race because I have been on the sidelines cheering runners on for the past few years. It’s such a great race that I decided to take part in it. The expo was not very good and it was all the way out at the Gaylord hotel. If you are not familiar with the D.C. area, it is about a 30-minute drive from downtown D.C./Arlington. Not very convenient if you are staying near the start/finish line in Rosslyn.
The weekend before the race I came down with a cold that derailed me for a few days and did not set me up for success. I laid in bed all week and didn’t get in any last minute runs before race day. So to say I had no idea how I was going to perform was an understatement. The night before the race, I set up my clothes for race morning and relaxed with my go-to meal before races. I also coordinated with friends who were running and along the course of where to see them.
On race morning, I took the metro to Rosslyn where I walked to the start line. Also for those of your wondering, I highly recommend taking the metro to the Rosslyn station and getting off there to walk to the start. As you will see, the trains to Pentagon city are typically packed and the security lines are just as bad there. By Rosslyn, the lines are shorter. From there I walked to the start area as we had about 30 minutes until the race began. I met up with my friend Ellen, we watched the parachuters and began the race. It starts along the highway and up through Rosslyn into Courthouse. The first mile or so is uphill and the rolling until you get into the district. From there it goes downhill then levels off.
I knew I was in for a rough one when at mile 7 along Rock Creek Parkway I was struggling big time. My mile was slowing, my body was aching and I knew it was because I was just sick. Around mile 10 I told Ellen to run ahead and don’t worry about me. I honestly didn’t even know if I was going to finish. I found my friend Courtney who ran a couple miles with me through my walk-run method. My body was in so much pain, my knees were killing me and my IT band was not happy. I have never had knee pain before while running so I knew this was different. I seriously contemplated stopping but by the time we got to the mall, I just kept going. I saw Courtney again at mile 18, who gave me some encouragement and sent me on my way across the bridge. I continued with my run-walk method for the duration of the race until I finished.
But enough about the pain I was in, this was a great race. I loved seeing all of the Marines out on the course, everyone who was spectating including many of my swim pack girls and just friendly faces handing out candy, oranges everything. In order to finish, you have to run up a steep incline to get to the finish shoot. Kind of MCM right? but afterwards, you are done and make your way through to meet up with friends and family. I, of course, got a photo with some of the Marines at the finish line party, took a photo with the statue and my medal.
I met up with my friend Danielle who was also there to cheer me on but was stationed at the finish line. At the expo, there was a booth where you could select a name of someone who has passed away in the line of duty and where their bib on you. I selected Tom Warren who was in the air force and ran for him. It gave more meaning to the race for me given that I had family who served in the military. All in all, it was a great race and great experience even though my body did not cooperate.
Perks: racecourse, aid stations were fully stocked, accessibility to metro for entrance and exit.
Ehh… not a fan: medal was ugly (there were much better ones in past years) expo was lame and getting there was a pain