Overall Rating
Overall Rating (52 Reviews)
4.4
(52 Ratings)(52 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
2.8
SCENERY
4.3
PRODUCTION
4.2
SWAG
3.8
Recognized for impeccable organization on a scenic course managed by the US Marines in Arlington, VA and the nation’s capital, the Marine Corps Marathon is one of the largest marathons in the US and the world. Known as ‘the best marathon for beginners,’ the MCM is the largest marathon in … MORE
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Recent reviews

    jhtraveler REPEAT RUNNER '19

    Much of what I said in the my review last year could be repeated here. To avoid that, I'll say returning to the marathon was amazing. This is a race … MORE

    Much of what I said in the my review last year could be repeated here. To avoid that, I’ll say returning to the marathon was amazing. This is a race you need on your bucket list. While the heavy rain was not ideal, I still consider this my favorite marathon and will be back again. The Marines do an amazing job organizing the event and providing superior support from beginning to end.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

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    MomRuns FIRST-TIMER '19

    This race was one of my all time favorite. Course was difficult with a hill to start and a climb up one final hill to the finish line. There was … MORE

    This race was one of my all time favorite. Course was difficult with a hill to start and a climb up one final hill to the finish line. There was torrential rain and winds for the first 13 miles, then the sun came out and it was hot! The Blue Mile was humbling with a long line of soldiers killed in action, followed by a long line of Marines holding flags for us to run under..very emotional experience. I have run a good amount of marathons, but the struggle due to weather and course difficulty made this victory all the more meaningful! I would highly recommend it. Also, if you love swag- this race shirt, long sleeve half-zip, was amazing! The expo was great with lots of vendors. I was able to find street parking for $3 for the expo, and the Hyatt in Washington was awesome- the Metro was connected to it along for easy access to the race start and finish. Still in awe of the whole experience!

    DIFFICULTY
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    3
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    5
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    5
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    usmchick FIRST-TIMER '19

    The weather didn't really cooperate too well at the beginning of this race. Storms blew in but after about 16 miles the sun came out. The blue shirt mile is … MORE

    The weather didn’t really cooperate too well at the beginning of this race. Storms blew in but after about 16 miles the sun came out. The blue shirt mile is very humbling and the sites you get to see around the city are amazing!! I highly recommend this race to anyone who ever wanted to run a marathon!! This was my first and I can definitely say, it was WELL WORTH IT!

    DIFFICULTY
    3
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    4
    SCENERY
    5
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    5

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    For the second year in a row, I traveled to Washington, D.C. on the last weekend in October to run the Marine Corps Marathon. This year was different from last … MORE

    For the second year in a row, I traveled to Washington, D.C. on the last weekend in October to run the Marine Corps Marathon.

    This year was different from last because this year I ran the race with my hubby Bill, my friend Nancy (it was her 99th marathon), and another friend Dennis. Dennis had run the Marine Corps Marathon 30 times before but not since 2007. He wanted to attempt to run it one last time at age 78.

    I really like the race shirt this year. It is a black quarter-zip with the phrase “Courage is Endurance for One Moment More” emblazoned on the back.

    Race day dawned gray and rainy, but we were prepared. We brought hats, throw-away shirts, and rain ponchos, which we donned before setting out for our 1-mile walk to the race start before sunrise.

    In the Marine Corps Marathon, there are three checkpoints – at miles 17, 20, and 22. In order to beat the gauntlet at mile 17, you must maintain approximately a 15 minutes per mile pace.

    The first few miles were good. We ran-walked and maintained an acceptible pace. Then we turned into Rock Creek Park. The rain, which had been light up until then, became much heavier and Dennis’ knees started acting up. He began to have trouble sustaining the necessary speed.

    Please continue reading here:
    https://meditationsinmotion.wordpress.com/2019/10/28/marine-corps-marathon-2019-version/

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    My Report
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5
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    Shak38 REPEAT RUNNER '19

    Here is my recap of the Marine Corps Marathon: The expo was just so-so. It wasn't that convenient to get to and they had very little branded merchandise to buy. … MORE

    Here is my recap of the Marine Corps Marathon:
    The expo was just so-so. It wasn’t that convenient to get to and they had very little branded merchandise to buy. No pint glasses, no stickers, no ornaments, no magnets, no coffee mugs, no 50K items. This was a missed opportunity for sure. The race shirts had a good design but were cheaply made by a no-name company. Brooks did have some cool shirts to buy, just not a large selection. There weren’t that many companies at the expo and not a whole lot of things to buy. I believe only one booth sold running essentials such as gels, shoes, etc. that you might have forgot.

    We stayed at the Double-Tree by the Pentagon which was very convenient to the Runner’s Village. The UPS trucks were conveniently located and bag drop-off was a breeze. We got to the start line and it was just a mass of people with no corrals and just a big push to get across and start running.

    The actual race itself, from start line to finish line was INCREDIBLE (barring that you didn’t know where the finish line was because the blow-up arch had electrical issues) and the course was extremely crowded the entire way. I felt sorry for the wheelchair or stroller athletes because of the burden of getting around. The marines were great and the course was interesting to see. Spectator support was incredible and I even had a shot of Fireball in Crystal City (highly recommended). There were random people giving out Halloween candy which made me smile. The rain was brutal but that can’t be helped. Running the Blue Mile was everything and more. I actually thought I was going to break down – it was that emotional.

    After the finish line and getting the medal from a marine (way too cool), there was nothing but problems. You could barely walk out of the finish line area – it was so crowded. They only had photographers in that very first section. I missed the area to get my boxed lunch and then swam upstream through the crowd to grab it. That was pointless because all it contained was a bag of pretzels, a fruit cup and some random honey packs or sport beans! What?!? I walked through the madness to the family meet-up that was down at the bottom of the hill (made worse because my last name starts with S). After that I had to walk back up the hill and down another street to grab my bag (also one of the last trucks because my projected time was slow). We went back up that hill to look for beer. Luckily we brought a credit card because there was a Famous Dave’s food truck. We found the beer finally but at that point we decided to bag it and head to the Metro. My watch had 34 miles of time on my feet on it from the time we left the hotel to the time we returned….ouch!

    Even with all the above complaining, I would still recommend this race to EVERYONE! I can’t put into words how joyful my heart was running this race. There was no politics – just patriotism and love. We were united in the love of our country, the love of the countries joining us and the love of running. It was beautiful.

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    2

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    neon8919 FIRST-TIMER '19

    Well, historically this race has beautiful weather, and of course, when I decide to run it: cue buckets of rain! This was my second marathon, and I was really good … MORE

    Well, historically this race has beautiful weather, and of course, when I decide to run it: cue buckets of rain!

    This was my second marathon, and I was really good about training, although my longest long run was only 18 miles, I still did killer!!

    (as of 10/29/19) I don’t have my official time, but according to my garmin I ran ~5 hr marathon! Which is 1.5 hours FASTER than my first marathon. So YAY!!

    About the race itself: It was sooooo amazing to have so many marines along the course, and a big thank you to them for all they did.

    Also, a huge thank you to all the course support. Even with the rain, Virginia and DC residents came out to cheer! I never really lost myself. I run races without headphones, so I rely heavily on course support.

    The winding nature of the course meant that my cheering groups were able to see me twice each at different mile markers (10.5, 16 and change, 17 and change, 19 and change) which really made my feet swifter.

    I would highly recommend this race. Yes that last hill to the finish is rough, but dude, when that marine saluted me when I got my medal, I damn near cried!

    26.2 outta 10 for the MCM.

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    karenfuss FIRST-TIMER '19

    The course is much hillier than i thought it would be! But the crowds were great, the volunteers were amazing. The military presence was awesome whether they were running, cheering, … MORE

    The course is much hillier than i thought it would be! But the crowds were great, the volunteers were amazing. The military presence was awesome whether they were running, cheering, or volunteering. Watch out for the climb at the end! I didn’t notice the monuments so much on account of the torrential downpours. I think they should possibly look into moving the handracers; the course was very tight with a single wave start and it was hard for them to get through.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
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    4
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    4
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    4

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    MCM is one of those races that should be on every runner's bucket list. The course is flat for the most part with the exception of a couple notable hills … MORE

    MCM is one of those races that should be on every runner’s bucket list. The course is flat for the most part with the exception of a couple notable hills the first 5 miles and one final hill right before the finish line. There are marines everywhere volunteering at the expo and during the race. Receiving your finisher’s medal from a marine after the race really completes the event. You seem many cool DC sites during the race such as the Washington Monument and the Capitol. There is a lot of crowd support during most of the race. Mile 11 is the Blue Mile with pictures of marines who have passed away. It is hard to not get emotional during that mile as it has so much meaning. My only complaint was that the starting area was VERY disorganized. So many people ignored the signs with the pace ranges where they should line up. Most people lined up too far ahead of where they should have been, which caused a lot of weaving around slower runners the first few miles. I have heard that MCM now has a corral system in place so hopefully that helps.

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    brookerene FIRST-TIMER '18

    This large race is a wonderful race to participate in. It is scenic, well supported and who couldn't love racing in the nation's capitol? There are some difficult parts such … MORE

    This large race is a wonderful race to participate in. It is scenic, well supported and who couldn’t love racing in the nation’s capitol? There are some difficult parts such as the bridge and such, but don’t let that stop you. At the end, finishing is a big production with an awesome medal to boot.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
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    jhtraveler FIRST-TIMER '18

    This was the most inspirational marathon i've done to date. Having Marines cheering me on and a line of them congratulating me at the end of the race... wow. I've … MORE

    This was the most inspirational marathon i’ve done to date. Having Marines cheering me on and a line of them congratulating me at the end of the race… wow. I’ve always enjoyed touring DC, this was a a one of kind way to see our capital.

    The course was flat for the most part except for some elevation at the beginning… and beware of the steep hill before the finish line. Race support of aide stations and crowd support were awesome. It is a large race but i never felt crowded along the course as they now have instituted corrals that were enforced.

    The long sleeve shirt has become a bit legendary… we will leave it at that. The medal is unique, having a globe that opens to display a gold coin. Marines know about medals!

    Overall, I’d love to do this one again… and I am in 2019!

    DIFFICULTY
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    5
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    My Media

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    dosaprincess REPEAT RUNNER '17

    Great support on the course, well organized and the medal is the BEST. start area is really well organized so no waiting for ages to get running. a great beginners … MORE

    Great support on the course, well organized and the medal is the BEST. start area is really well organized so no waiting for ages to get running. a great beginners marathon

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    5
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    samanthadolen FIRST-TIMER '18

    This race is so inspiring... the monuments, the blue mile, the marines staffing the water stations. This is a must do experience. It is well run, and easy to get … MORE

    This race is so inspiring… the monuments, the blue mile, the marines staffing the water stations. This is a must do experience. It is well run, and easy to get to the start and finish. That last hill is a killer, but when you get to the top, the marines that cheer you on are fantastic!

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    4
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    5
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    3

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    rcarkin FIRST-TIMER '18

    Truly the People’s Marathon. Perfect for first time marathoners. Emotional by the blue mile. Very nice view of DC. 2018 was the perfect weather and everything was extremely organized MORE

    Truly the People’s Marathon. Perfect for first time marathoners. Emotional by the blue mile. Very nice view of DC. 2018 was the perfect weather and everything was extremely organized

    DIFFICULTY
    4
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    5
    SCENERY
    5
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    5

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    BrooklandRunner FIRST-TIMER '04

    I had always wanted to run a marathon. I signed up for this one back in the spring. In the fall, with the Red Sox making an historic postseason run, … MORE

    I had always wanted to run a marathon. I signed up for this one back in the spring. In the fall, with the Red Sox making an historic postseason run, I thought the World Series would go 7 games, so I would skip the marathon to be in Boston. But, I got tickets to go to St. Louis for game 3 and the Sox swept, so I was in DC for the race. I didn’t know how to train and I still was able to finish the race. I am proud that this remains my personal slowest time to date. Great organization and course!

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    BrooklandRunner REPEAT RUNNER '05

    This was my second marathon and the first marathon I trained. I remember going for 3:10 and falling apart in the 16th mile. I walked a bit around Hains Point … MORE

    This was my second marathon and the first marathon I trained. I remember going for 3:10 and falling apart in the 16th mile. I walked a bit around Hains Point where my friends cheered for me. I was happy to get the PR and this race probably hooked me on the marathons.

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    BrooklandRunner REPEAT RUNNER '16

    On Sunday, October 30, 2016, I ran my first marathon as a father. My son Miles is two-and-a-half months. This also was my first Marine Corps Marathon in 11 years: … MORE

    On Sunday, October 30, 2016, I ran my first marathon as a father. My son Miles is two-and-a-half months. This also was my first Marine Corps Marathon in 11 years: my first two marathons were the Marine Corps (2004 in 4:10 and 2005 in 3:29). Also, one note of my first two marathons: I walked portions of them. So, the Marine Corps Marathon was the only marathon I hadn’t ever run the entire way (my first Boston, 2012, was so hot that there were stretches I had to walk, but in subsequent years, I have not walked at all). With my 3:08:31, not only did I finally qualify for Boston in my adopted city of DC, I ran the whole time. Plus, with warm temperatures, this was my best time on a day that didn’t provide ideal conditions.

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    MissPatRuns FIRST-TIMER '18

    This was my first marathon. I was so excited for it after all that running that I never thought I would do. I think I signed up for the challenge … MORE

    This was my first marathon. I was so excited for it after all that running that I never thought I would do. I think I signed up for the challenge of getting in. I got in by being fast enough with my fingers to register for the 17.75k and completed that, it was my longest run yet after only having run for almost a year. I was having knee trouble and it was the most challenging but rewarding 11 miles ever. I enjoyed commiunicating via Facebook in a group call Women of MCM, they are awesome and I suggest joining them if you are going to do this event. I made 2018 my MCM year and it was full of firsts for me…10k, which came after the full and half…lol…, half, full, 8k. I did the Distinguished Participant and picking up that medal was a wonderful way to cap everything off.

    I went all out for this race. I booked a long weekend in National Harbor, paid for the Carbo-dinning in dinner the night before the race, paid for my sister and her boyfriend to watch the race from the new observation deck building that included brunch, and the expo was an all out blow up on my credit card…lol. That expo was awesome! Tons of people if you go when they first open and confusing because lines are not roped or anything, but eventually you make it in. When I first saw the shirt, I was excited, but later realized it was not exactly the best. It has become a joke of sorts that the MCM organizers embraced with a funny video.

    Since I stayed in national harbor, I had to take a shuttle to the start, which went smooth even though it seemed the driver was not exactly sure where to go. It was cold. There were many photographers asking to take your photo and tons of porta potties. There was also a prayer service if you wanted to participate in that. The start line was exciting with a Sky diver, the howitzer going off, and 30k runners! It would have been nice if they could find a way to keep non-participants out of the start corrals!!

    Overall, the course was not so bad, I rated the difficulty based on it being my first and that you have multiple time markers that you have to beat, namely “beat the bridge”. It is horrible to think that you get to 20 miles and could get sidelined after all of that if you don’t make the cut off. When I realized that the pace car was right on my tail, I almost lost it. Then I pulled myself together and just ran until I couldn’t see it anymore. Then I spent the rest of the race just trying,to make sure I was going to NOT see that car again, so I have no clue about the scenery or seeing the various monuments (I have seen most of them before already since I live in Md). I have no idea where I was most of the time…it’s all a blur. I knew my time would be close because I am a turtle runner, but I had no idea it would be so stressful. The Blue mile, for fallen soldiers, was very somber and respectful. It was such a wonderful part of the race to recognize those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for their country. It made running 26 miles seem like it was not a big deal in the whole skeem of things.

    The last .2 miles or so of the race was probably the worse, those Marines love their hills and there is one leading up to the finish. I waved at the “host”, like he told us to at the dinner so I could get my name called, but I never heard it. The finish was not the best for me. There were only a few of us crossing at a time because we were over 6 hours, which I kind of did not anticipate but potty breaks mostly got the better of me. The reason it was somewhat disappointing was because the Marine who gave me my medal acted like he did not want to hand it over! He looked to the person next to him like he was trying to figure out what to do and I looked at him and raised my shoulders like “what?” He finally put it in my neck…not the experience I had expected. Took many pictures with the photog at the Marine Corps Memorial but somehow those pics never showed up, it could not have been a bib problem because my bib was clearly visible. There was pretty much no finish festival at this time. It is called the “People’s marathon” because there is no,prize money and there are many ways to get it, which is awesome, but no love for those of us slower runners who still meet the time cut off. All I could do was rush to bag pickup after they announced that we had better do so before they left. The best thing was that my sister and her boyfriend were there and they had the Coke I had texted her to please get me. For some reason around mile 23 or 24 I think, I just had a dire need for a Coke…lol. It was awesome to,see them and I was excited even with the challenges…and realizing that my medal did not close the whole way because there was a piece that was broken and propping it open a little. Can’t really see it when it’s hanging though.

    I was able to easily maneuver the metro so that I could get back to the station where the shuttle would return me to National Harbor. There were many of us, so it was not difficult. Funny seeing so many people limping and shuffling. No problems even though I had been nervous about this part. When I got home, my mom had prepared my requested pancakes and ham and cheese omelette and surprise…my family presented me with a beautiful award to commemorate my achievement! I was so honored…best thing ever because they had to get it engraved and that means they believed that I could do it!!

    Overall, this was an awesome experience! The MCM is special even though some of it did not go as well for me. I think I will do it again once I can work on getting my pace up a bit, but I kind of like being a turtle so take thing in and not worry about placing or a PR, but I don’t want to be stressed about whether I will finish. The race was organized and the excitement was palpable throughout the entire weekend. The crowds were supportive with many signs and some had their own snacks and water to hand out. There were some even chanting “beat the bridge” as we got close to that point. I had read that this was a good first marathon and I would agree, but just be mindful of pace. So many people did not seem to have read about it! Had no idea what beat the bridge was! It is an honor to #runwiththeMarines.

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    M_Sohaskey Mar 19, 2019 at 8:48pm

    Wow, what an amazing narrative of an amazing day — but let's not bury the lead, congrats on your first marathon, Pat! And what a way to cap off an… MORE

    Wow, what an amazing narrative of an amazing day — but let's not bury the lead, congrats on your first marathon, Pat! And what a way to cap off an incredibly year of firsts, you didn't waste any time diving into the deep end 😉. Admittedly that was an odd interaction with the Marine at the finish line, but then again the people are part of the beauty of running in a wildly popular and crowded event like MCM. Hopefully that didn't detract from the pure euphoria of finishing your first marathon — unless you're the winner, the point for the other 25,000 of us is to cross that finish line, no matter how long it takes. Congrats on bearing down and toughing it out, and thanks for an awesome review — hope marathon #2 is on the horizon! LESS

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    MissPatRuns Mar 19, 2019 at 8:55pm

    Thank you for taking the time to read my novel...lol! And for replying. Yes, I just decided that everything was part of the experience and I finished without injury and… MORE

    Thank you for taking the time to read my novel...lol! And for replying. Yes, I just decided that everything was part of the experience and I finished without injury and my family rounded out the fun. I have actually signed up for the 50k! I think it's the challenge of getting registered and being part of the first event. Not sure I will actually make it because I am having knee and quad issues, so again, out the gate way too fast for my body. We'll see. Thanks again! LESS

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    M_Sohaskey Mar 19, 2019 at 9:17pm

    Wow, no denying the power of the almighty endorphin! 😉 Wish I could have signed up for the inaugural 50K this year as well, I think it will be a… MORE

    Wow, no denying the power of the almighty endorphin! 😉 Wish I could have signed up for the inaugural 50K this year as well, I think it will be a blast. And hopefully 7+ months will be time enough for your knee and quad to remember how much they love doing this and get healthy. Good luck with your recovery and training Pat, keeping my fingers crossed you're on the start line Oct 27! LESS

     
    splitter FIRST-TIMER '16

    Cool medal and experience. First marathon and went into it injured so was running conservatively. The heat was surprising, watched everyone hit the wall on the highway before the Pentagon … MORE

    Cool medal and experience. First marathon and went into it injured so was running conservatively. The heat was surprising, watched everyone hit the wall on the highway before the Pentagon which was the most boring stretch.

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    cpwofford0990 FIRST-TIMER '18

    This was a great race with a ton of support through the entire thing. This was my 5 marathon and I was really hoping for a PR, but having stopped … MORE

    This was a great race with a ton of support through the entire thing. This was my 5 marathon and I was really hoping for a PR, but having stopped at the first line of port a potties I found (which I didn’t realize was still about a half a mile from the start line) left me sprinting to the start line and stuck in the wrong corral. I spent the first half of my race over doing it trying to catch up to my pace group and completely burnt out at mile 20. Now if this race wasn’t so beautiful and just all around awesome I would have been more bummed about adding 30 minutes to my overall time. I would highly recommend this race, I think my experience is not the norm for most who run it. The hills are minimal and I feel like I saw more of DC running this than I did the 2 days I spent walking around with my family. The expo was great with a ton of booths and I even got to meet one of my personal hero’s Kathrine Switzer.

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    ckmoncayo FIRST-TIMER '18

    Very well organized and tons of spectator support. Easily one of the best races I have run. Additionally, the metro in town makes it very easy for spectators to get … MORE

    Very well organized and tons of spectator support. Easily one of the best races I have run. Additionally, the metro in town makes it very easy for spectators to get around and see you as you run the course. Post race party was also a blast with tons of freebies!

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