Marine Corps Marathon Week 2019

More runners than I can identify head up Lee Highway during mile two of the 2018 Marine Corps Marathon. Photo: Charlie Ban


Marine Corps Marathon

Oct. 27, 2018

Arlington, Va. and Washington, D.C.

7:30 50k start
7:45 Handcycle start
7:55 Runners start

Race website
Course map
Runner tracking

With the introduction of a 50k and a likelihood of rain for the first time since 2015, the Marine Corps Marathon will have enough curveballs to keep everyone on their toes this year.

The marathon course will weave through Arlington County before crossing the Key Bridge into Georgetown, taking a trip up and down Rock Creek Parkway, around Hains Point and the National Mall before crossing back into Arlington, where runners will finish by climbing the hill to the Iwo Jima Memorial in Rosslyn. The 10k follows the last 6.2 miles of the marathon route. The 50k will add just short of 4k out and back on Canal Road to the west after runners cross the Key Bridge.

You can track runners here.  Read on to learn about the best way to watch the race, why you shouldn’t run using someone else’s bib, who has run every Marine Corps Marathon and find out about the time the race was a day away from cancellation.



Race smarter: run the tangents

Cut possible minutes off of your time by running as close to 26.2 miles as possible. Senior Editor Dickson Mercer takes you through how you can approach the race as strategically as possible.


Photo: Steve Laico

Marine Corps Marathon Spectator’s Guide

We asked local runners and their friends for their best advice to making the most out of that morning. Use this guide while developing your plan for the day to best support your runner and make the most of your morning!

Don’t trade bibs

Bib swapping may seem like it wouldn’t matter, but it has far-reaching consequences for runners and races.


The Last Groundpounder

Arlington’s Al Richmond was the last remaining runner to finish every Marine Corps Marathon until he retired before the 2018 race.


Look for D.C. running’s superfan

Somewhere along the course, you’ll hear music. Then you’ll see a character from the movie The Incredibles. And then you’ll understand the enthusiasm Paul Silberman brings to local road races.

Looking back at 26 years of the Marine Corps Marathon with Race Director Rick Nealis

What’s ahead for Marine Corps Marathon? Race director talks biggest obstacles, future of race.

Faces of the Marine Corps Marathon

Photographer Doug Stroud grabbed runners off the 2017 Marine Corps Marathon and 10k finish lines and documented how the race changed them, inside and out.


Darrell General: The Working Man

Five-time Olympic Marathon Trails qualifier Darrell General was also a two-time Marine Corps Marathon champion, doing it all during an intense work schedule, uncommon among elite runners.


Alex Hetherington at mile 16 of the 2015 Marine Corps Marathon. Photo: Cheryl Young

Running gave Alex Hetherington an identity beyond being a Marine

“It gave me an identity beyond being a Marine,” he said. “You think being a Marine is an identity in and of itself, but you’re in a squadron with a bunch of other pilots who are just like you. That’s who you work with day in and day out, and running was sort of a way to be a little bit different. It was my persona.”


Mark Cucuzzella gets down to the real basics while talking to a Two Rivers Treads customer. Photo by Nadav Neuhaus

Mark Cucuzzella wants a solid foundation for military service members

Mark Cucuzzella’s highest hopes for running don’t involve him breaking the tape at a marathon. Or posting amazing sales figures at his West Virginia running store, Two Rivers Treads. He wants every military service member to be able to run injury-free.


Once fervently anti-marathon, a D.C. native comes home for 25th MCM

Washingtonian native Arthur Scott, who now lives in Charlotte, has run every Marine Corps Marathon since 1995, despite vowing never to run a marathon, then to run only one, then to stop after his 20th… you get the idea.



Terps coach makes time for her own marathon training

Danielle Siebert goes to races all the time. But she’s normally not the one racing.

A look back: Marine Corps Marathon 2018

Jeff Stein rebounds at the Marine Corps Marathon 

A year after he went the wrong way in the first mile and then collapsed with heat stroke after the race, D.C.’s Jeff Stein won the Marine Corps Marathon.

Jenny Mendez Suanca wins second Marine Corps Marathon title

Costa Rica’s Jenny Mendez Suanca led the Marine Corps Marathon from the start to win the race again, after claiming the 2015 title.


Arlington’s Morkama recovers from early-race chaos to win Marine Corps Marathon

Desta Morkama and several other top competitors went the wrong way in the first mile, putting them at a steep disadvantage when they got back on course.


Fairfax’s Bishop turns training run into Marine Corps Marathon win

Sarah Bishop felt better than she expected late in what was a training run and she held on to win the Marine Corps Marathon.


Desta Morkama: A man on the move

As he integrates into the United States after immigrating from Ethiopia, perhaps his most important word to repeat has been “hustle.”


MCM serves as a mixing bowl for runners

For some runners, it’s a first marathon. Others treat it as a homecoming of sorts.


 Vienna’s Perry Shoemaker wins Marine Corps Marathon

For most of the two weeks leading up to her Marine Corps Marathon win, Perry Shoemaker couldn’t even run.


 Kosgei beats back local elite to reclaim Marine Corps title

Samuel Kosgei got away from Desta Morkama in the last few miles to win his second Marine Corps Marathon title.


Get me to the race on time

For some runners, getting to the starting line was the most stressful part of the race


Trevor Lafontaine leads Oscar Santos through mile 15. Photo: Steve Laico

Lafontaine, Mendez Suanca win see-saw MCM battles

Trevor Lafontaine had never raced longer than a 10k when he took the line at the 40th Marine Corps Marathon. A little more than two hours and 24 minutes later, he had won.

Runner head down Rock Creek Parkway during mile 11 of the Marine Corps Marathon. Photo: Charlie Ban

Sunday’s 40th Marine Corps Marathon started out on the wrong foot when rain and unusually long, slow security lines frustrated thousands of runners, but fortunately, it’s not how you start a marathon, it’s how you finish.

Luckily, it’s how you finish


Joe Did It!

Joe Divel took the enthusiasm that guided his training with him on marathon day.


Will Etti Cuts Down His Time

Will Etti completed the Marine Corps Marathon in 5 hours and 14 minutes, a 37 minute PR over last year’s effort.  In last year’s Marine Corps Marathon effort, Etti hobbled through cramping through the later stages of the race, an experience that has been at the forefront of his mind since he began training for this year’s redemption six months ago.


The Freewheelin’ Amelia McKeithen

Amelia McKeithen didn’t go in for a rigid training plan that told her what days to run, when to cross-train, or what to eat.  She knew back in March when she committed to running the Marine Corps Marathon as a fundraiser for The Children’s Inn at NIH that a structure like that would cramp her style.

Hand-crank cyclists lead off the 2013 Marine Corps Marathon. Photo: Jimmy Daly

D.C. races: a handcycle mecca

Push-rim wheelchair racers and handcyclists are familiar on the courses of D.C.-area races, but that’s not the case elsewhere in the country.



Marine Corps Marathon winners make moves on the Mall

Amid the museums that line the National Mall, Spc. Samuel Kosgei and Capt. Meghan Curran carved out their place in history when they both took leads in the Marine Corps Marathon that they would hold to the finish. Along the way, they both led their respective U.S. Army teams to military marathon team championships.


Volunteers make the day for Marine Corps Marathon runners

While many loved the scenic course, crowd support, and near perfect weather, runners at Sunday’s Marine Corps Marathon universally raved about one thing: Marine volunteers who motivated them to cross the finish line.


©Sara (Hartenstine) Alepin {Photos from the Harty ı Wedding, Event, Portrait, and Lifestyle Photography}

George Banker and his Marine Corps Marathon resume

To pin a label on George Banker, you’d have to get him to slow down first. He’s a runner, an organizer, a historian, a photographer, a speaker, a joker, a mentor, a problem solver, and whatever else anyone needs him to be.


Army Capt. Kelly Calway just after the 19 mile mark of the Marine Corps Marathon. Photo: Jimmy Daly

Calway notches MCM title, Olympic Trials qualifier

With a strong lead in the Marine Corps Marathon, Army Capt. Kelly Calway had her opportunity-run harder now or spend seven months regretting it. With an impending deployment to Kuwait waiting for her a week later, the cool day in Washington was her chance to take care of qualifying for the U.S. Olympic Trials.


Girma Bedada holds a sizable lead five miles into the Marine Corps Marathon. Photo:Jimmy Daly Girma Bedada holds a sizable lead five miles into the Marine Corps Marathon. Photo:Jimmy Daly

Men’s MCM winner holds lead for more than 25 miles

Wire-to-wire. It almost has no place in any talk about a marathon, maybe only in a tall tale. The race is too long, too grueling, too open to disruption. But Girma Bedada did it at the Marine Corps Marathon, running 2:21:31.


Marine Corps Marathon runners relax and convalesce after the race. Photo: Jimmy Daly

Marine Corps midpackers find a lot to like

Much like Girma Bedada and Kelly Calway’s efforts, Mike Kunzer’s race at the Marine Corps Marathon was the culmination of years of preparation and training.


Spectators cheer for family and friends along Jefferson Drive along the National Mall. Photo: Jimmy Daly

Marine Corps Marathon spectators prove running is a team sport

They hold their signs proudly while their eyes scan the road. It’s not easy: being in the right place at the right time. All the while they wonder: Do I have their pace right in my head? Did I miss them?

Rock Creek Parkway during the Marine Corps Marathon. Photo: Jimmy Daly

Shutdown Palace: When the Congressional budget impasse nearly ruined a marathon

Runners run, elected officials legislate and besides the dozens of honorary congressional chairman for the Cherry Blossom Ten Mile, never the twain shall meet. Until October 2013. The first federal government shutdown in 17 years threw the running community into uncertainty as runners were ostensibly banned from National Parks Service property and race permits for that land disintegrated, putting the region’s marquee race in doubt.

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