This was my 130th marathon when I ran it in 2014. I went back and ran it again in 2015 and 2016. Needless to say, I rank it top tier of marathons. That is due to all the attention to detail that only other runners appreciate. There were plenty of aid stations as well as volunteers along the course, and they were superb. Dedicated doesn't begin to describe them. As is the case, we had some challenging weather one year (2014) and the volunteers were unbelievable. They kept us going.
The warm building before and after, hot food and drinks, great awards and again, absolutely fabulous volunteers who are on top of everything make this a exceptional marathon. Honestly, the food afterwards is exceptional in terms of selection and tastiness.
The relay has added some additional spirit and pep. The teams are fun to run with and they cheer us on as well. Makes it something to anticipate as you go from post to post. A lot of the race is on a beautiful bike path, and what is on the road is well marked and safe. Not a lot of swag as this isn't a corporate sponsored race. The shirt is one of my favorites: well made, fits well, and doesn't have advertising all over it. Understated and classy, just like the race.
Reston is a lovely town. Fly into Dulles, it's right there. Lots of art galleries, lakes, restaurants--good time for runners and families.