Marine Corps Marathon Weekend: Running? Cheering? Here's What to Know

This year's MCM weekend is set for Oct. 25-27

What to Know

  • Marine Corps Marathon weekend (Oct. 25-27) 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 DC
  • Metro opened 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 It's a 44-year D.C. tradition that attracts thousands of runners and spectators every year. The weekend features multiple races, as well as festivities, an expo and more. This year's MCM weekend is set for Oct. 25-27. 

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 nearly every mile.

The marathon itself is the largest in the world that doesn't offer prize money, earning it nickname "the People's Marathon," planners say.

Not running? There are plenty of opportunities to celebrate and cheer on those who are — including with NBC4 and Telemundo 44 at Mile Marker 4.

Read on for everything you need to know.

A Silver Spring woman talks about her journey to the Marine Corps Marathon. Aimee Cho reports.

Sunday's Races:

MCM Wheelchair and Hand Cycle Start: Oct. 27, 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." Take heed, runners: You must maintain a 14-minute per mile pace and enter the "Gauntlet" at Mile 17 by 12:33 p.m. to stay in the race. Oct. 27, 7:55 a.m.-3:10 p.m. 

MCM 10K start: Oct. 28, 7:55 a.m.

Photos: NBC4 Cheers at Mile 4 of 2017 Marine Corps Marathon

Post-Race Events:

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. 27, 8 a.m.-3 p.m.

Award Ceremony for MCM10K and MCM: Oct. 27,  9:30 a.m.

MCM and Special Olympics Award Ceremony: Oct. 27, 11:10 a.m.

MCM50K and Military Award Ceremony: Oct. 27, 12:15 p.m.

Penguin Award presentation: Oct. 27, 3:10 p.m.

Jeffrey Stein won the Marine Corps Marathon a year after he made a wrong turn early in the race. He talked about it with Jim Handly.

How to Get There:

Metro opened at 6 a.m. on Sunday. 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. There's also a shuttles to and from the Gaylord National Resort. Here's more information.

Arlington Cemetery is the only Metro station that will remain closed on marathon morning until 8:30 a.m., planners said.

Braving the traffic? Runners can be dropped off at the Kiss and Run at the corner of Army Navy Drive and Fern Street. There's free parking available in the underground lots near the intersection of 23rd and Crystal Drive.

Many streets are closed. Here's a complete list of road closures.

Mothers of those killed serving the country line the Wear Blue Mile of the Marine Corps Marathon to honor those killed in combat.

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.

Join NBC4 and Telemundo 44 on Mile 4 of the race to cheer on runners, grab some freebies and have a great time cheering with our team. Mile 4 is near the Key Bridge.

Spectators should remember to never cross the course and steer clear of boundaries.

What's the Forecast?

Dig out some rain gear and an umbrella: Rain moved in on Saturday night and will be sticking around Sunday. Download the NBC Washington app and stay with Storm Team4 for the latest forecast.

What Else Should Runners Know?

Find the course map; info on pacing requirements; locations of water, food, aid and entertainment stations and more here.

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