Overall Rating
Overall Rating (59 Reviews)
4.4
(59 Ratings)(59 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
2.8
SCENERY
4.3
PRODUCTION
4.3
SWAG
3.9
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

    Kaitlyn FIRST-TIMER '18

    This was my very first marathon and I loved it!! The energy out on the course was amazing and crowd support was strong. I ran it in 2018 and the … MORE

    This was my very first marathon and I loved it!! The energy out on the course was amazing and crowd support was strong. I ran it in 2018 and the weather was perfect, low 50s and overcast. I had to stop and give myself a pep talk around mile 20 on the 395 “beat the bridge” part of the race but once I got past that section, I was back on track and feeling great. I finished in 4:16, which I was happy with, as a first time marathoner. The finish is emotional, as a marine puts your medal around your neck. There’s a long walk to reunite with friends/family after the race but overall, I highly recommend this race and will probably run it again.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
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    5
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    5
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    4

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    Mell REPEAT RUNNER '19

    This race is my all time favorite. This was my 6th year running it. Packet pickup has gotten more organized over the years. The 50k organization was flawless considering it … MORE

    This race is my all time favorite. This was my 6th year running it. Packet pickup has gotten more organized over the years. The 50k organization was flawless considering it was the inaugural year. The patriotic energy from the other participants and the Marines on course is out of this world. This year was torrential rain but there were just as many spectators cheering us on as any other year. The views in D.C. on course are great. It is great to stay at a hotel in Crystal City as there are lots of hotels within walking distance of the shuttles to the start line in the morning and when you finish you are already on your hotel side, makes things a little easier. The course is congested so don’t consider this is the one to easily PR, just enjoy yourself!

    DIFFICULTY
    1
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    5
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    5
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    5

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    jedgein FIRST-TIMER '18

    What an amazing race! This was my first out of state race and I loved it! The course you get to see a little of everything, the city, monuments, and … MORE

    What an amazing race! This was my first out of state race and I loved it! The course you get to see a little of everything, the city, monuments, and country side. The whole race from the expo to race to end is ran like a well oiled machine as you would expect due to the Marines are running it 🙂 The course was a little tough and the heat got to me so I did not finish with the pace I wanted but it was just a great experience.

    DIFFICULTY
    5
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    5
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    5
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    marathonmom FIRST-TIMER '18

    I've run 15 full marathons and the Marine Corps Marathon is the very, very best. There's no better feeling than running with Marines. Those who aren't running are cheering you … MORE

    I’ve run 15 full marathons and the Marine Corps Marathon is the very, very best. There’s no better feeling than running with Marines. Those who aren’t running are cheering you on and passing out water. When you finish, two Marines salute you and put the finisher’s medal around your neck. An awesome experience.
    The expo was amazing.
    The start of the race is spectacular, using a cannon instead of a gun.
    Lots of room to hang out before the start of the race in the Pentagon parking lot.

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    pkroon REPEAT RUNNER '19

    Being one of the fortunate ones to nab a registration for the inaugural MCM 50K set me on a path to run my first ultramarathon. I have run the marathon … MORE

    Being one of the fortunate ones to nab a registration for the inaugural MCM 50K set me on a path to run my first ultramarathon. I have run the marathon here twice already and was glad to have the opportunity to be a part of something new and historical in the nation’s capital.

    Race day morning was as wet as they come. A steady rain soaked us even before getting to the start, and then the downpour greeted us soon out of the gates. There were standing puddles that just couldn’t be avoided, and one part of the path near Hains Point was totally submerged. But I suppose these sort of things didn’t dampen our spirits but helped us to strengthen our resolve. Despite the rain, I felt there was a great crowd support, and of course the Marines at the aid stations were fantastic.

    My experience in the early miles was totally different from last year where I couldn’t get my pace locked in until mile 4 because of the slower runners ahead of me. I learned from that and made sure to get to the Metro when they opened (it’s nearly a two-mile walk from the station to the start, so plan ahead as the trains are jammed and it takes longer than you might think.) This time around, the 50K runners had a 30min head start, and due to being able to start near the front I had complete ability to run the line I wanted until the course rejoined at mile 10. I enjoyed the early course detour on an out-and-back in Georgetown along the C&O Canal, but at the conjoining point it was a struggle to navigate through the marathoners who at that point were already quite a bit slower than my pace (I was doing 6:45 pace and I mixed in with the 8:00 runners.) I can imagine it was even more difficult for the pack behind me as the streets were more densely packed.

    Besides those points, the 50K really only had separate distance signs on the 10K splits, plus a unique mat to get the 26.2 split. We had to mentally add 4.87 to the marathon mile markers or wait for the next big black banner. Charging the hill, hearing my name announced, and getting to the finish surrounded by active duty Marines was a special moment. I lowered my marathon PR by 3 minutes and achieved my goal of a sub-4 ultra, so it was a great day–literally blowing it out of the water!

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    WanackRuns FIRST-TIMER '19

    This is a great race, nice and relatively flat for an Urban Ultra race. The course runs along with the Marine Corps Marathon, starting about a half an hour prior … MORE

    This is a great race, nice and relatively flat for an Urban Ultra race. The course runs along with the Marine Corps Marathon, starting about a half an hour prior to the marathon. Get there early to get up to the starting line through all of the people going to their marathon starting corrals. The first part is the first 4ish miles of the marathon and then you have an out and back down Canal. It is a beautiful “detour”!

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    5

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    KDDidd12 FIRST-TIMER '19

    All the great sights of the marathon course plus a few extra miles along the river. Great race for the first ten miles, plenty of space and room to run. … MORE

    All the great sights of the marathon course plus a few extra miles along the river. Great race for the first ten miles, plenty of space and room to run. The merger was rough, suddenly slamming into a packed street with marathoners at a much slower pace. That threw a huge wrench in my pace and energy plan. Hopefully they’ll start the ultra runners more than 30 minutes before the marathoners next year.

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    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
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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!

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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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    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
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    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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    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.

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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.

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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!

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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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    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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    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

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