After writing my Marine Corps Marathon recap, I realized that I was pretty critical of the race. While it was definitely not my favorite (read more here), I do think it’s a good race and would encourage others to run it. I thought I’d share five things to love about the Marine Corps Marathon. There are many, but I limited this list to just five.
- Running in DC is awesome. It is very easy as a DC resident to get jaded about running in this city. The truth is, most weekends, my runs take me past monuments and memorials. Since I’m so used to seeing them (I can literally step into my street and see the Capitol Building), it can sometimes seem common place. However, I know that I am blessed to live here and that to many folks seeing the monuments of DC can make the race. This is a definite highlight and makes the race special.
- The military is awesome. I’m a military brat so anything military related fills me with pride and respect. Having a marine place a medal over my neck was incredible. Seeing so many military men and women running, cheering and serving the runners was an incredible experience – words can not even say how powerful this was.
- The blue mile is gut wrenching. The blue mile is the stretch during mile 12 where the course is dotted with pictures of fallen service members. It’s a quiet and stark reminder that we are running for something much bigger than ourselves. It was all I could do to hold back tears.
- The course isn’t easy. There’s a certain respect you garner when you tell folks that you ran the Marine Corps Marathon. Folks know that anything the Marines take part in ain’t gonna be a piece of cake. I kind of like that!
- The crowd support is fantastic. There were very few quiet parts of the course and I appreciated that. Having spectators cheer and clap and yell can make a huge difference in a marathon. Once you get off Haines Point, there are spectators all the way up to the bridge. And then once you (thankfully) get off the bridge, Crystal City is packed with folks. It really helps!
What is something you love about your favorite race?