For the past 34 years Marine Corps Memorial in Arlington Virginia has been the finish line for runners participating in the annual Marine Corps Marathon (MCM). The Marine Corps Marathon is also known as the "Peoples Marathon" and runners from all around the country and world come to participate in the event.
The first MCM was run on November 7, 1976 with just over 1,100 runners. To put that in perspective the first NYC Marathon run in 1970 had only 123 runners. The MCM started as an idea to help with recruiting efforts for the Marine Corps and help local Marines qualify for the Boston Marathon. The idea submitted by Colonel Jim Fowler eventually won the approval of the Commandant of the Marine Corps General Louis Wilson.
Fowler's brief stated: “The name Marine Corps Marathon evokes military history and is the kind of event which the public finds in consonance with the image of the Marines." Oer the years the MCM has grown and is now the 4th largest marathon in the US and the only one that does not offer prize money to any of the winners. Runners in this race run for the love of what they do, the sensse of accomplishment they feel and not riches.
With the start outside Arlington National Cemetery and a finish line at the Marine Corps Memorial the route takes runners past numerous memorials and landmarks.
Mile 11 FDR Memorial
Mile 12 Jefferson Memorial
Mile 15 World War II Memorial
Mile 18 Washington Monument
Mile 19 US Capitol
Mile 20 Holocust Museum
Mile 24 The Pentagon
No doubt each of these locations give runners moments of inspiration as they head towards completing the 26.2 mile race. If you are coming to DC to see the race or support a runner make sure you leave your car parked at your hotel or at home. With multiple street closures not only for the race but for events afterwards it is easier to get around town by the DC Metro System.
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