Marine Corps Marathon Results and Recap

Marathon #7 for 2013 is done! I ran the Marine Corps Marathon today. Here’s my recap and random pics…

post race marine corps marathon (287x510)

Morning usual.

breakfast before the marine corp marathon (287x510)

Since I am running NYC next weekend (and ran a full two weeks ago and the hat trick last weekend) I knew my only choice was to enjoy this race. I made a little bet with Hector – the person to take the best picture wins. We had a PR contest = Picture Record

hector and i before the race (800x450)

Getting trash bags ready to wear!

plastic bags before marathon (800x450)

Russ and I are boy scouts though and came prepared with throw away gear. Apparently lime green is in for pre-race fashion this season… Be prepared!

monica and russ (287x510)

Pre-race fun…

obligatory running pose (382x510)start line mcm (800x450)

Coach Steve

sole runner steve (287x510)

I met a lot of readers on the course today too! Thank you so much for saying ‘Hi!’. You guys see my random running pose over and over but I never get to ‘see’ you! I really appreciate it. This is Katie Smile

with kate (287x510)

Before the start sky divers came down right by the starting line with the world’s largest US Flag! I can’t even describe how awesome that was…

sky diver at marine corps marathon (800x450)

sky divers at start (800x450)

The race – The course was hillier than my research suggested! (By research I mean asking two people ‘is this a hilly course?’)

But it is the BEST course in the United States thanks to all the armed service men and women, landmarks, history and crowd support!

my best picture (800x450)

I think after mile 3 it’s flat for a long time and you are really distracted by all the sights and sounds. The one tiny negative about this race is – because it’s so big (30,000 runners?) it is very crowded at the beginning. That’s usual for big races, but this one didn’t thin out until mile 19! I think it would be hard to go for time here until you lined up right in the front.

running to the capitol (800x450)

running to the washington monument (287x510)

(I took some video, but need to see how it came out. Stay tuned.)

The last 6 miles get a bit boring until you get to Arlington National Cemetery. Then, as you get close to the end the crowds are LOUD and AWESOME.

after the marine corps marathon finish line (800x450)

When you cross the finish there are lines and lines of service men and women waiting to shake your hand. And they present you with the medal and salute you. It’s awesome.

getting a medal at marine corps marathon (800x450)

marine corps marathon medal (287x510)

I finished in 3:56:27 and it was no walk in the park.

marine corps marathon with medal (287x510)

marine corps marathon finish area (800x450)

Everything about the Marine Corps Marathon was super organized. This includes the post-race food lines. They gave you a bag, water, and then a super cute box with your food.

marathon corps marathon food (800x450)marathon food after race box (800x450)

The most genius part of the post-race offerings are the light jackets they give out instead of space blankets. LOVE. Those foily blankets are so hard to keep on your shoulders while you’re trying to take a sip of water (or do anything else). These Mission Accomplished jackets are my new favorite thing.

after the marine jacket for finishers (800x450)

Even though I was exhausted, I somehow managed to rush over to the FREE Fresh Watermelon booth to eat all the watermelon. I made a good dent. #EatMoreWatermelon but not more than me.

free fresh watermelon (800x450)i am eating all the watermelon (287x510)

Overall thoughts: Loved everything about the Marine Corps Marathon. EVERYONE was so gracious. The service members kept saying “thanks for coming out” and other positive things. I thought, they are the ones defending our country, I should be thanking them!

shaking hands with marines (800x450)

But really, it was the best. I had a hard race physically, but that is nothing compared to all the people who have died and been injured serving our country. God Bless them.

flags at marine corps marathon course (800x450)

Here is a recap of the marathon from Tai Fung 

Question: Do you know any vets?

Thank them for me.


  1. says

    Great race! You have been a busy women, it amazes me how you can run so many races with such great times!

    My hubby is a Marine Vet and my brother is currently in Afghanistan serving the Army. I would love to get out there next year and run this race in honor of them both!

    • Rachel says

      Congrats! Best part of my day was spotting you at Mile 23. I was with the crazy people cheering in blue. I yelled out your name like you would know who I am, hahaha! Thanks for waving! The course is very difficult, in my opinion. Not flat. You did great! Thanks for the blog, you inspired to run my first 50K this year, and back to back marathons. Love reading every day!

  2. tazie says

    Yay, wonderful pics and race report. Congrats to you! I ran it in 1998, (I’m an Air Force vet) and my son (US Coast Guard officer) ran in 2010 & 2011. It *is* a great run— glad you enjoyed the experience. Good luck at NYC!

  3. says

    This is awesome. I had a friend running it today, too, and he had the same sentiments that you did. My BIL is in Afghanistan right now. My sister and their two boys (6 and 4) are home holding down the fort and doing a great job. I can’t even imagine being away from my hubby for a year. Brett will be home in April, and we can’t wait for the big celebration!

    Good job, today, Monica!

  4. Monica says

    This is the first time I’ve ever been remotely tempted to run a full marathon. Great recap, such an honor to run in our capitol surrounded by heroic men and women!

  5. says

    What an awesome race! My husband is a vet of Iraq and Afghanistan in the Army National Guard. If I ever decide to run another marathon, this might be it. :-)


  6. Leah says

    Saw you around mile 19, looking strong! Glad you enjoyed the race, it was a great day for those of us cheerleading as well :)

  7. Kate House says

    Congrats on the race, and thank you for sharing your experience! I loved reading about it, and I’m definitely adding this race to my Race Bucket List!!

  8. says

    Loved this post! My husbands father was a WWII vet, my pap was Korea, my uncle Vietnam, and my mom Dessert Storm. All Army. So so proud of our vets! Can’t thank them enough for serving!

  9. says

    Looks like a great, meaningful race!

    My dad is an Army vet and my daughters’ brother is currently serving in the Marines. He just got back to his base in California from Afghanistan last week! So proud of him and happy he’s back safe and sound!

  10. says

    Congrats on a great race! This was my first marathon, and although I didn’t reach my (unofficial) goal of a sub-4 time, I had a really great time and enjoyed the race.

    And now I have a huge respect for the distance, now that I’ve experienced it. Man, those last 6 miles I was hurting. I can’t imagine running as many races as you do!

  11. Caitlin says

    I saw you on the course right before the bridge at mile 20. I was star struck :) Congrats, lady! I’m inspired daily by what our soldiers have done and continue to do. Thanks to all of them.

  12. says

    Congrats on the accomplished race, and thank you for sharing your experience and all those pictures! I guess my bucket list just grew by another event. Are you staying at the East Coast for NY next week?

  13. Pam says

    Congrats Monica!! :) Good luck at NYCM as well!

    My father served 20 yrs in the USAF. :) I always thought my father looked so handsome in his uniform(s).

  14. says

    Great race! I did it two years ago. They didn’t give out those snazzy jackets two years ago. I completely agree with the inconvenience of the space blankets! See you next weekend in NYC!

  15. says

    This was an amazing race. I totally agree. Well done, Monica!

    It was my first marathon and I have nothing but good things to say about the organization and experience. It is a bit crowded but I think that kind of adds a special kind of energy in the beginning miles. It is funny but a lot of people cry at the end of the marathons but for this I cried at.the.beginning. After the National Anthem was sung, I got all choked up thinking about the sacrifices our young men and women make for this country. It was overwhelming.

  16. Bonnie says

    Hi, Just wondering what brand/ model are the black shorts you wore for MCM? I’m looking for a pair that don’t ride up and aren’t too short. If you could let me know it would be much appreciated!

  17. says

    I loved it and PR’d despite wanting to die for the last 10k. I am happy to say there was a bounty of high fives and every single paper cup went into a trash can, that’s right, because I love people who volunteer and don’t need to throw gatorade on them.

  18. says

    I actually saw you when I was running on the Mt. Vernon trail on Saturday afternoon. It looked like you, but I thought, “That’s crazy – what would Monica be doing here?!” Ha!

    It was my first Marine Corps Marathon (and I live in DC). LOVED it. I died a little on the last mile, but it is just so well organized and yes, there is nothing like seeing our military at every water station, cheering us on, etc.

      • says

        Saturday was gorgeous! DC is a great place to walk (alone or in a group). Just watch out for those cyclists! Sometimes they show no mercy! I can’t remember specifics on your outfit Saturday, but I remember thinking it was cute! The race went great for me except the last mile or so my legs turned into tree trunks. So cruel to end a race on a hill! :)

  19. says

    So awesome! I would love to run this race one day. Brought tears to my eyes. My husband and I are both active duty Navy and I feel like our jobs are a walk in the park but we see SO many people who work so hard and sacrifice so much for this country. The people around me inspire me every single day. This race is something special. It’s going on my bucket list :)

  20. Karin says

    My Dad is a Vietnam Vet and was also a Marine. I’ve been toying with making running a marathon a goal. I think this is the one. I am crying just thinking about getting the medal from soldiers at the end. Between finishing the race and saluting soldiers I will be a blubbering mess for sure.

  21. says

    Congratulations! It looks amazing! We lived in the DC area for four years and did the MCM 10K three of those years — I think the marathon is a little better organized, but it’s so cool to run through DC and see all those Marines cheering you on, and the medal presentation at the end is the best! My husband is a Marine and he’s done the actual marathon twice, but it was before we met. If I was ever going to do a marathon, that’s definitely the one I’d choose!

  22. Ashley says

    Hey! Nice to meet you post race yesterday! I was the random stranger that also ran Santa Rosa :) Congrats on your race!

  23. says

    My first half marathon was in Williamsburg, VA and there were a lot of military personnel there. It was a really neat experience. When they were cheering for the runners and saying thanks for coming out, we kept saying “No, thank YOU!”

  24. Holli says

    Of course it’s organized, it’s run by Marines! 😉 My son is an active duty Marine in his 5th year and just re-enlisted for another 4.

    I have run this marathon 2 times and I love it! Last year I ran it mostly through tears. My son’s friend from HS (they enlisted together) had recently lost both his legs and had to be amputated right up to his hips so I raised money for his families favorite charity and ran it in his honor. I was chocked up through just about the whole run.

    Glad you had a great time! MY dad is a Vet <3

  25. Ashley G says

    I ran MCM last year (even Sandy couldn’t keep this event down!), and it was so incredible. I felt like I had a runner’s high the entire race just from the course support. It as also my husband’s first full marathon and thinking it would be his only one, I felt like it was the best experience he could have had.

    My favorite moment was after you finish and you get to shake the hands of dozens of Marines. There was one woman in the line of Marines, and I told her what a pleasure it was to shake her hand.

  26. Kathleen says

    I’m walking to the start and as a daily reader I think, hmmm I wonder if Monica is lined up with those speedy runners in the under 4 hr mark. I spot at the porta potties one more time, get in line, and I’m staring (star struck) at the girl directly in front of me! I would have felt reaaaaalllyyyy dumb if I asked “are you Monica?!?” and they said no. Haha! Great to meet you in real life! Very cool. Glad you had a good time, I agree- awesome race! A couple too many sneaky hills but the marines made it worth it! 😀

  27. says

    At the Atlanta Marathon we had the same jackets and snack boxes! I was very impressed. As a middle/back of the pack-er, I usually get whatever the faster folks have already picked over, so this snack box thing was great! Loved the jacket!

  28. says

    My husband is a Navy SEAL vet – he’s my hero.

    Great recap and thanks for sharing your kind words and thoughts for our servicemen and women! MCM is my only full marathon to date – but I hope to get back there again some day.

  29. Sarah G. says

    Wow, every recap I hear about this race solidifies it more for me that I will run it one day. My husband is a USMC vet who was injured in Iraq, so it’s very close to my heart. Well done!

  30. says

    Congrats on your finish! My husband and I ran it in 2010 and when I got to the finish and that Marine put the medal around my neck and said “good job” I burst into tears and said “No, thank YOU for what you do!” I still get misty eyed just thinking about that moment. Did you bang the gong at mile 26? (If try still have that). It was also actually ON Halloween that year so lots of people were dressed in costumes.

    My Dad served in the Army and fought during WWII, my father-in-law was in the Navy and served in the Korean War. My brother-in-law retired from the Air Force and I have several uncles that have served as well.

  31. says

    Great recap! I actually wrote about the Blue Mile (your last photo). I run for Wear Blue: Run to Remember and it was great to see so many run for the fallen and the respect shown by those who ran past it!

  32. april says

    congrats on completing another marathon! the marine corps marathon definitely sounds like a very inspiring race. you are on a ROLL with all your races! are you planning on running 14 races in 2014? :)

    i’ve never been to washington DC, but i’m dying to visit! both of my grandfathers served in world war II :)

  33. LaneM says

    Wow Monica! Congratulations! I yelled out to the runners from my car on my way home from church while everyone was running over the 395 bridge towards the Pentagon. haha I hope you heard me!! You’re such a champ!

  34. says

    MCM was my very first marathon and I thought it was amazing!!! I’m so happy for you that it didn’t get cancelled. I want to run it 4 more times to join the “club”. I am a Maryland native and absolutely loved how many people were out watching and cheering on the runners. My favorite part of the race when I ran it was the frat handing out beer to the runners while we were in Crystal City. The MCM Historic half in May is an equally awesome race! The marines and all the volunteers in both races were so supportive and cheered on everyone! I just loved that race. Many races later, that is still my favorite!

    My grandfather was a WWII veteran! To run past that monument that recognizes him and the fellow men and women that served our country in that war is pretty amazing!

  35. Shawn says

    Sorry I’m late to respond, but thank you for the race recap, Monica! Both my grandfather, dad and uncle were veterans, my cousin is a veteran, and my FIL is still serving in the service!

  36. Laura says

    That last picture is of my running group–Wear Blue: Run to Remember!!! I was running!! It was my first marathon and I chose it for the Wear Blue mile with all the flags. All of the posters with fallen military members photos were photos submitted by Wear Blue runners running in MCM and were photos of the individual service members we run in honor of. Glad you had a great race! Wish I had run into you though!

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