Marine Corps Marathon Offers Pep Rally, Festivals and Lots of Running

The 38th Marine Corps Marathon takes place on Oct. 27, but there's a bevy of activities and events to entertain runners and spectators throughout the weekend of the nation's third-largest marathon.

Health and Fitness Expo
Where: D.C. Armory
When: Oct. 24 from 4 p.m.-8 p.m., Oct. 25 from 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Oct. 26 from 9 a.m.

The Health and Fitness Expo kicks off MCM Weekend, allowing participants to enjoy more than 200 exhibits and vendors. Guests can browse through everything from running gear, training products, food samples and MCM merchandise. The expo starts off with a performance by the Marine Corps Base Quantico Party Band, a ribbon-breaking ceremony and the rewarding of a supersize Goodie Bag to the first runners in line.

First Timers Pep Rally
Where: The Hyatt Regency Washington
When: Oct. 25, 7 p.m.-9 p.m.

Runners who will be braving the 26.2 miles for the first time are welcomed to the First Timers Pep Rally, where they can regaled by cheerleaders, musicians and an MCM Expert Panel Q&A. Runners must pay a $5 admission fee to enter, and a $10 fee for guests. Free appetizers and a special dinner menu are provided, in addition to free giveaways and a commemorative first timers pin.

Healthy Kids Fun Run
Where: Pentagon North parking lot
When: Oct. 26, 8:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.

Nearly 3,600 kids from ages 5 to 12 can participate in the one-mile run, where they will be showered with free T-shorts, medals and snacks. Mascots, including the GEICO Gecko, Jack the Bulldog from Georgetown University and Talon from DC United, will be running alongside the kids and greeting them at the finish line.

Carbo Dining-In
Where: The Hyatt Regency Washington
When: Oct 26, 6 p.m.

Presented by First Command, Carbo Dining-In lets runners binge eat their share of pasta, vegetables, rolls, salads and desserts to prepare for the next day’s race. Runners will also be treated to live entertainment, appearances by the MCM bulldog mascots and prize giveaways.

The MCM has also partnered with some local restaurants in Rosslyn to offer runners a “Pasta Night” special during the weekend.

Where: 12th St. and Madison Dr. on the National Mall
When: Oct. 27, 7:45 a.m.

The 6.2 mile-long run gives marathoners a tour of the nation’s capital and finishes at the Marine Corps War Memorial in Rosslyn. Runners are required to maintain a 15 minute-per-mile pace to participate. The run starts at 7:55 a.m. after opening festivities.

38th Marine Corps Marathon
Where: Route 110 between Arlington National Cemetery and the Pentagon
When: Oct. 27, 7:55 a.m.

Up to 30,000 runners will be participating in the 2013 Marine Corps Marathon, which stretches across the nation’s capital. Nicknamed the “Marathon of the Monuments,” the marathon course starts in Arlington, Va., loops around through D.C.’s most iconic landmarks and ends at the Marine Corps War Memorial.

Runners can refresh themselves at 12 water points and four food stations that are sprinkled throughout the course. The MCM website offers an interactive map that locates the stations and points of interest.

(Plus, NBC4 will be celebrating the runners as they travel over the Key Bridge through Mile Four of the course. Wave if you are running, or, if you are a spectator, come join us in the Peacock Zone!)

MCM Finish Festival
Where: Rosslyn, Va.
When: Oct. 27, 8 a.m- 4p.m.

Exhausted and exhilarated runners can celebrate their completion of the Marine Corps Marathon and the MCM10K at the post-race Finish Festival in Rosslyn. Spectators and cheerers alike can enjoy the activities at the festival, including food, live music, sponsor displays, entertainment and giveaways.

Runners can recover with free massages from the National Massage Therapy Institute, then wind down with a bear from the Michelob Ultra Beer Garden while being serenaded by the United We Sing vocal trio and the Quantico Marine Corps Rock Band. 

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