What to Know
- Marine Corps Marathon weekend (Oct. 26-28) features multiple races, as well as festivities, an expo and more.
- There are five locations along the race course where spectators can gather to cheer on runners, in both Arlington and D.C.
- Metro will open at 6 a.m. on marathon day. The Pentagon station is closest to the race start on Route 110 in Arlington.
The Marine Corps Marathon is more than just a 26.2-mile test of endurance... although that's definitely a huge part of it. The weekend features multiple races, as well as festivities, an expo and more. This year's MCM weekend is set for Oct. 26-28.
The marathon itself is the largest in the world that doesn't offer prize money, earning it nickname "the People's Marathon," planners say. The race takes runners on a scenic course through Arlington and the District, passing many of D.C.'s best-known monuments and offering music and entertainment at every mile.
Not running? There are plenty of opps to celebrate and cheer on those who are.
Read on for everything you need to know.
How to Get There:
Metro will open at 6 a.m. on Oct. 28. The Pentagon station is closest to the race start on Route 110 (halfway between the Pentagon and Arlington Memorial Drive).
Non-runners may want to use the Smithsonian or Crystal City stations to access some spectator locations.
To reach the finish line festival, use the Rosslyn Metro station or take the MCM shuttle from 23rd Street in Crystal City.
Arlington Cemetery is the only Metro station that will remain closed on marathon morning until 8:30 a.m., planners said.
Planners are warning that weekend waits for a train could be up to 15 minutes. They're also encouraging spectators to buy a Metro One-Day Pass.
How to Watch (and Cheer):
Ready to motivate on your friends, family and people you've never met? Make some signs and get ready to cheer. There are five locations along the race course where spectators can gather, in both Arlington and D.C.: at the start line, at miles 10, 16, 17-19 and 22-23 and at the finish line at the Marine Corps War Memorial. Find specific locations and see how to get there here.
Know your runner's projected pace per mile to help you figure out where and when they should reach certain spots on the course, planners advise. To make it easier, you can sign up for Track-A-Runner text updates through the MCM website or app. Find more spectator tips online here.
Spectators should remember to never cross the course and steer clear of boundaries.
Health & Fitness Expo: This expo, which includes packet pickup for racers, also features 200+ vendors of fitness equipment, nutritious food and more, plus photo-op stations and MCM-branded merch. Find it all at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center at Maryland's National Harbor. Oct. 26, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. and Oct. 27, 8 a.m.-6 p.m.
Carbo Dining In: MCM will host a (sold-out) pasta dinner for runners, their families and friends. Oct. 27, 6-8 p.m.
MCM Kids Run: Planners say 3,000 kids ages 5-12 will join in the one-mile fun run that features music, entertainment and mascots. Oct. 27, 9:30 a.m.-2 p.m.
MCM Wheelchair and Hand Cycle Start: Oct. 28, 7:45 a.m.
43rd Marine Corps Marathon: Runners will be sent on their mission to "charge the district, beat the bridge and take the Iwo." From planners: "The MCM promises a spectacular start with the color guard, national anthem, special guests and international flags from all nations represented in the field." Oct. 28, 7:55 a.m.-3:10 p.m.
MCM 10K start: Oct. 28, 7:55 a.m.
MCM Finish Festival: Runners can pose for pics in front of the Marine Corps War Memorial and then head to Rosslyn to visit the MCM Brooks Finisher Store, reunite at the Family Link Up spot, recover with a free massage, get a beer and catch live music. Oct. 28, 8 a.m.-3 p.m.
Award Ceremony for MCM10K and MCM: Oct. 28, 11:10 a.m.
MCM Military Award Ceremony: Oct. 28, 12:45 p.m.
Penguin Award presentation: Oct. 28, 3:10 p.m.
MCM Victory Party: Celebrate at the Gaylord National Resort with a DJ, food ranging from pizza to carving stations, prizes, photo ops and a cash bar. Oct. 28, 7-9:30 p.m.
What Else Should Runners Know?
Find the course map; info on pacing requirements; locations of water, food, aid and entertainment stations, and more here.