You have been training for months to get ready for the Marine Corps Marathon. We in DC are so impressed with your efforts that we have made mass transit mostly impossible for your stay just so you can get some extra workouts trying to get from place A to place B (or is it the other way around, I always forget).
So, this is my annual blog post welcoming all the runners coming in from out-of-town to the DC area for the Marine Corps Marathon. Even the locals may learn a thing or two. I’ll give you tips and advice that you will find nowhere else. Of course given the track record of this blog, that is probably a good thing.
First of all I want to apologize to the person who took my advice from a previous year’s MCM blog post and went to the Pentagon, drove up to the front, tossed your keys to the guy with an assault rifle and said “Don’t scratch it”. In retrospect this wasn’t a great piece of advice. Although you lost your car, I hear you made the podium for the Guantanamo Marathon, so at least there was a silver lining of sorts.
What’s the best way to come in from the airport?
The rail system (Metro) has instituted a new program called “Safe Track”. This is code for “We figured out the only way to make this safe is to rarely run trains”. In fact they will NOT be opening early for the start of the race like they typically do forcing the race organizers to leave the start line open longer (before you avail yourself of this option, think about how well you run in warmer temps since it will be warmer later in the day).
So if you can’t take Metro, you could drive. I would recommend this except that eventually you have to park and although it seems like every street in DC is a parking lot, this actually isn’t the case.
So what about the bus? This would combine the worst of Metro and the worst of driving. Instead of one of these crappy ideas, why not get some last second training in and run in from the airport? Considering you have luggage, it will make race day seems that much easier.
Any Suggestion on Places to Eat?
Well, I hate standing in line, so avoid anywhere I would eat. That way I won’t have to stand in line (yeah, the joke isn’t as funny when you explain it (OK, it wasn’t funny anyway but I trying to rescue it by doing a long aside (it’s not working))). I will say if you are looking to spend $1000 a person, I here http://www.minibarbyjoseandres.com/ is good. If you are looking for a blogger to tag along during your meal there and are picking up the tab, The Pig is a very good eating companion.
Any Suggestions on a Place to Stay?
I would suggest National’s Baseball Park because God knows it’s never busy this time of year (yes I am still bitter). I will say that if any the Crystal City hotels have last second cancellations, being able to catch the shuttle (or walk to the start) is a nice option.
What should I wear for the race?
If I was running the race I would suggest that you wear 50 layers so you would burn up and I would be able to pass you. Since I’m not running, I am just recommending you wear clothes (I told you this was advice you would not get elsewhere).
OK, this is totally useless; do you have any real advice?
OK, if you have read this far, here is a real piece of advice: The first two miles are uphill and you are likely to go out too fast because you are with 30,000 other runners who are pumped up by troopers dropping from the sky and a howitzer to start the race. When you make this mistake, do yourself a favor and don’t charge the downhill at mile 3 like you are storming the beach at Normandy. Your quads and your race results will thank you.
The other thing is that the hill at the end is not fun. Leave just a little in the tank for getting up it and keep on the gas to the finish.
The last piece of advice is for my female readers. The cutest Marine handing out medals is usually the one with the longest line.
Good luck to everyone running!