The Marine Corps Marathon is a DC tradition. Many people come into town for this destination race, and what good am I if I can’t offer some tips to my out-of-town blog followers. Even the locals may pick up a thing or two here. So here are few tips to keep in mind while you are preparing for and running this great race.
Welcome to DC, now spend your money and stay out of the local’s way.
If you are on Metro, stand to the right on the escalator or the DC residents will kill you on the spot and you will never get to the race. Don’t say you weren’t warned. I personally might spare you since you are a blog reader of mine, but even then expect a rude forearm push followed by cursing.
But should you get on Metro at all? Well if you are flying in to Reagan National Airport it provides a convenient way to reach DC/Arlington/Alexandria hotels. If you are flying into Dulles, Metro is scheduled to starts service in the next 4 years so it is a crap shoot if it is better to wait for service to start in 4 years, or take the bus to the Silver Line and hope it is running on time.
What is the alternative to Metro? There is driving. Think of the Mad Max movies if you slowed the pace down to one inch an hour. Traffic sucks and everyone drives like a madman. But there is a special category of crazy. If you are so unfortunate to see someone with Maryland plates immediately head for the shoulder and wait for them to pass. To say Maryland drivers are bad is like saying the universe is kinda large. Personally I am convinced that to fail a Maryland drivers test a felony has to be committed during the test.
But if you drive, where should you park for the race? Little known pro tip, the Pentagon is actually the world’s largest parking garage, just drive up to the front door and hand your keys over to the nice young man with an assault rifle and you are good to go!
Are the VIP Toilets Worth 200 bucks?
If it gets you out of my line for the bathroom, then the answer is yes. If you don’t believe such a thing exists, then check out this link.
SO WHEN SHOULD I SHOW UP?
The Marine Corps website recommends you get there 2 hours in advance. Why do that when you can wait 24 hours and avoid the crowds all together?
Any Tips for Interacting with the Marines?
Whenever you see a Marine remind them they are actually part of the Navy. That joke never gets old for them.
Seriously thank them for their service. They do a great job protecting our country (and for my Canadian readership keep in mind we are the only thing standing between you and an invasion from Mexico).
Where should I eat?
DC offers choices from the 300 dollars a meal at Barmini to vending machines and dumpsters. I would say you could show up at my place, but my cooking is rivals my swimming (which is to say it could kill you (actually I’m a pretty decent cook, but do you really want to risk me talking to you about this blog?)).
Any Tips for the Race Itself?
If you are dumb enough to come to this website to get tips on running Marine Corps Marathon, I am smart enough to provide them to you.
1. The first three miles are uphill. Great time to go full-out– you will have 23.2 miles to recover.
2. The Smithsonian museums are open during the race and they will subtract time spent in the museums from your final time.
3. The beer and Oreo guys don’t show up in Hains Point for Marine Corps, darn it.
4. Crystal City is not made of crystal so you don’t have to tread lightly.
5. The Pig is not running MCM. His advice is to squeal a lot.
6. Ignore everything I just have told you and have a great stay in DC and a great race!
PS Anyone wants to meet, feel free to DM me.