District of Columbia,
- 6 miles/10K, 26.2 miles/Marathon, Virtual Race
- Road Race
- Event Website
This was my first marathon in 2008 and if I had to pick one race to do for the rest of my life, it would be this one. It is exceptionally well organized (thank you Marines!), the course is beautiful, the crowds are awesome, and the medal is great. The expo and the finish line festival are great - great vendors at the expo, great energy. The finish line festival has so much going on.
They started having shuttles at the finish, which is really helpful, especially for people who stay/live in Crystal City. I definitely recommend staying in Crystal City if you come from out of town. You can walk to the start by going through the Pentagon parking lot. Give yourself extra time to get to the start - they have extra security now and just give yourself extra time.
For your friends and family who are coming to support you, the course makes it easy for them to see you 3-4 times before the finish. The expo has lots of details on how to get to different mile markers efficiently to see your runner. The runner tracking system also works well. I always find my family when I run this one!
There are some hills on the course, including a brutal one right at the end (which really took me by surprise the first time). But in general the course is beautiful and scenic, except for the parts on the highway (beat the bridge!!!). Those parts are pretty painful but you feel very hard core when you finish! The course can be crowded at times, but again, it is just so, so, so well organized.
The registration is now a lottery, but my personal goal is to complete 5 (only 1 more to go!) and join the Club. This way you can register whenever you want!!
Thank you Marines for an amazing, perfect race!