The MCM start line is uniquely situated between the Pentagon and Arlington National Cemetery. The location offers a distinct reminder to runners that this is not just any marathon. Situated between those actively protecting our country and the fallen heroes, who for generations have given their lives for our freedom, runners immediately recognize the MCM’s 26.2 mile journey is about shared sacrifice. Everyone at this event has given something. The Marines and other members of the U.S. armed forces give of themselves in service to our country. The runners give themselves over to an active lifestyle, a commitment to physical fitness and a desire to achieve. Synchronized by the impeccable timing device attached to each runner’s bib, the MCM course pulses with the energy of give and take from these two contributing forces. Marines motivate runners. Runners gain the admiration of Marines. The result is a day of accomplishment, satisfaction and cherished memories.
The MCM will begin at 7:40 a.m. for the wheelchair and hand cycle participants. The MCM start begins at 7:55 a.m. and remains open until 8:55 a.m. It is recommended that runners arrive two hours prior to their start time to proceed through the security checkpoint, drop off bags and line up in the appropriate corral. The start line is located on Route 110 (all lanes) between the Pentagon and Arlington Memorial Drive. The closest Metro access to the start is the Pentagon station (Blue/Yellow). Arlington Cemetery Station will be closed on Marathon morning until 9:00 a.m
Located in the Pentagon North Parking lot, Runners Village hosted by Hyundai is the official launching pad for MCM participants. Runners may access Runners Village by MCM shuttles from Crystal City, National Harbor, the Ronald Reagan Building or Ballston or by utilizing Metro at the Pentagon Metro Station (Blue/Yellow). Essential pre-start support is provided to runners including the MCM Info Tent, oodles of portajohns, UPS Baggage Drop-off, water station and motivating music and announcements. Just a short walk up the ramp from Runners Village delivers participants to the MCM start on Route 110 (and even more portajohns!).
UPS Baggage Drop Off
Runners must use the clear plastic bag provided at Packet Pick-up. UPS baggage trucks will be located in Runners Village at Pentagon North parking lot. A UPS Baggage Sticker will be available for every MCM and MCM10K runner. The sticker, which is attached to the runners bib, features the runner's bib number and the assigned UPS truck to be utilized for baggage drop off and pick up on event day.
On MCM Day, runners affix the sticker to a bag to facilitate easy identification. Do not deposit valuable items. Neither the MCM nor UPS is liable for lost items.
After the run, MCM participants may pick up a bag in the Finish Festival. MCM trucks will be located on Lynn Street. MCM10K trucks will be staged on Wilson Boulevard.
Runners are required to wear the official participant bib with the number on front of clothing. The bib and pins will be provided at Packet Pick-up. MCM Participant Bibs include two tear-off coupons along the bottom.
The coupons are to be exchanged for the participant mock neck shirt at the Health and Fitness Expo and free sample of Michelob Ultra in the Finish Festival Beer Garden.
The howitzer will fire at 7:55 a.m. officially sounding the start of the Marine Corps Marathon. The MCM course will remain open until 3:10 p.m.
Required Minimum Pace: All MCM participants must maintain a 14 minute-per-mile pace.
The Gauntlet: At mile 15.5, MCM participants will reach “the Gauntlet.” MCM participants who do not make it through the Gauntlet by 12:38 p.m. will be diverted from the certified Marathon course at Independence Avenue to 14th Street and may continue running but will not complete the 26.2 mile course. These individuals will not be recognized as official finishers.
Beat the Bridge: All MCM participants who have made it through the Gauntlet must continue to maintain a 14 minute-per-mile pace to reach the 14th Street Bridge by 1:15 p.m. at Mile 18 of the MCM course.
Any runners unable to Beat the Bridge will be required to board straggler buses and be transported to the MCM Finish Festival in Rosslyn, VA.
ChronoTrack Timing Systems, Inc. records the results of runners along the course. The system utilizes a light-weight disposable UHF RFID tag that stays mounted on the runner's bib, embedded in the reverse side. No action is required of a runner beyond wearing the assigned bib. The "B-tag" records a runner’s official time, beginning when a participant crosses the start line and concluding as he or she passes the finish, as well as split times every 5K along the course. Runners receive their B-tag on their race bib.
Gun time will be utilized in determining awards for the top three male and female finishers. All other awards are calculated by chip time.
The Clif BAR Pace Team is the designated pace group at the MCM. Each Pace Leader will run even splits (every mile will be run in the same amount of time) throughout the course. By following a Pace Team leader, runners will cross the finish line within two minutes of a specific goal time.
At the MCM, Clif Pace Team will lead groups with the following finish time goals: 3:05, 3:15, 3:25, 3:35, 3:45, 4:00, 4:15, 4:30, 4:45, 5:00, and 5:30. The Pace Leaders will be lined up in the corrals for the 7:55 a.m. start. Those participants who arrive after the launch but before the 8:55 a.m. closing of the start line will not be able to join Pace Leaders.
Runners can meet the Pace Team before the event at the Health & Fitness Expo. Ask about marathoning backgrounds, how they fuel themselves during the MCM, and any other helpful tips. Pace Leaders will also be handing out free Pace Bands.