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Headquarters Marine Corps

Marathon still running strong in its 38th Year

By Lance Cpl. Clayton Filipowicz | Headquarters Marine Corps | October 28, 2013

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A participant in the 38th Marine Corps Marathon gives a thumbs up while passing spectators in Washinton Oct. 27, 2013. The MCM is currently the fifth largest marathon in the United States and the ninth largest in the world. The People's Marathon is composed of runners from all over the U.S. and more than 50 countries. (U. S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Dylan Bowyer/Released)

A participant in the 38th Marine Corps Marathon gives a thumbs up while passing spectators in Washinton Oct. 27, 2013. The MCM is currently the fifth largest marathon in the United States and the ninth largest in the world. The People's Marathon is composed of runners from all over the U.S. and more than 50 countries. (U. S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Dylan Bowyer/Released) (Photo by Pfc. Dylan Bowyer)


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Hand cyclists to the finish of the 26.2 mile, 38th Marine Corps Marathon in Arlington, Va., Oct. 27. The MCM is currently the fifth largest marathon in the United States and the ninth largest in the world.

Hand cyclists to the finish of the 26.2 mile, 38th Marine Corps Marathon in Arlington, Va., Oct. 27. The MCM is currently the fifth largest marathon in the United States and the ninth largest in the world. (Photo by Sgt. Justin Boling)


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Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Amos congratulates Girma Bedada who was the first male to cross the finish line during the 38th Marine Corps Marathon in Arlington, Va. Oct. 27. The MCM is currently the fifth largest marathon in the United States and the ninth largest in the world.

Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Amos congratulates Girma Bedada who was the first male to cross the finish line during the 38th Marine Corps Marathon in Arlington, Va. Oct. 27. The MCM is currently the fifth largest marathon in the United States and the ninth largest in the world. (Photo by Sgt. Justin Boling)


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Participants in the 38th Marine Corps Marathon run through Washington, D.C., Oct. 27, 2013. The MCM is currently the fifth largest marathon in the United States and ninth largest in the world. The "People's Marathon" is composed of runners from all over the U.S. and more than 50 counties. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Staff Sgt. Mark Fayloga/Released)

Participants in the 38th Marine Corps Marathon run through Washington, D.C., Oct. 27, 2013. The MCM is currently the fifth largest marathon in the United States and ninth largest in the world. The "People's Marathon" is composed of runners from all over the U.S. and more than 50 counties. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Staff Sgt. Mark Fayloga/Released) (Photo by Staff Sgt. Mark Fayloga)


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Kelly Calway runs by spectactors in Washington, D.C., during the 38th Marine Corps Marathon Oct. 27, 2013. Calway went on to finish first among female runners with a time of 2:42:16. The MCM is currently the fifth largest marathon in the United States and ninth largest in the world. The "People's Marathon" is composed of runners from all over the U.S. and more than 50 counties. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Staff Sgt. Mark Fayloga/Released)

Kelly Calway runs by spectactors in Washington, D.C., during the 38th Marine Corps Marathon Oct. 27, 2013. Calway went on to finish first among female runners with a time of 2:42:16. The MCM is currently the fifth largest marathon in the United States and ninth largest in the world. The "People's Marathon" is composed of runners from all over the U.S. and more than 50 counties. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Staff Sgt. Mark Fayloga/Released) (Photo by Staff Sgt. Mark Fayloga)


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Participants in the 38th Marine Corps Marathon run through Washington, D.C., Oct. 27, 2013. The MCM is currently the fifth largest marathon in the United States and ninth largest in the world. The "People's Marathon" is composed of runners from all over the U.S. and more than 50 counties. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Staff Sgt. Mark Fayloga/Released)

Participants in the 38th Marine Corps Marathon run through Washington, D.C., Oct. 27, 2013. The MCM is currently the fifth largest marathon in the United States and ninth largest in the world. The "People's Marathon" is composed of runners from all over the U.S. and more than 50 counties. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Staff Sgt. Mark Fayloga/Released) (Photo by Staff Sgt. Mark Fayloga)


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WASHINGTON --

The crack of a Howitzer signaled the start of the 38th Marine Corps Marathon in the National Capital Region Oct. 27.

A sea of runners lined the crowded streets for miles. At 7:40 a.m., contestants in wheel chairs and hand cycles, some of which were Wounded Warriors, began the race at the front of the pack. Shortly after, the ocean of runners rolled forward, beginning the 26.2-mile race on Route 110 between the Pentagon and Arlington National Cemetery. 

According to the Marine Corps Marathon’s official website, the race earned the nickname “The People’s Marathon” because it was originally created to promote goodwill between Marines and the communities they serve.

With more than 100,000 spectators and 30,000 runners, it is the largest marathon in the world that doesn’t offer prize money. The race’s course is also relatively flat, making the event more beginner-friendly.

“We didn’t really do much training for the marathon,” Giulia Cajati, a first time runner of the Marine Corps Marathon, said. “We are here because we love the Marines.”

The marathon’s course ran through many of the nation’s most iconic monuments. After running through Georgetown, runners passed historic sites like the Kennedy Center and Theodore Roosevelt Bridge. The Arlington Memorial Bridge was next, followed by famous monuments such as the John Ericsson National Memorial and Jefferson Memorial. Runners then passed the National Mall and, finally, the Marine Corps War Memorial.

Participants were required to maintain a 14 minute-per-mile pace to remain in the marathon. If runners failed to run the minimum 14-minute mile pace by the time they reached the 14th Street Bridge, they were driven to the finish line in “straggler” buses.

Runners wore a bib, which included an embedded “B-tag” chip that recorded runners’ times when they crossed the start line. The chip stopped recording at the finish line. The first three male and female finishers were based on the opening gun time, while the chips decided all other awards.

Girma Bedada won first place for the males with a time of 2 hours 21 minutes 32 seconds, followed by Patrick Fernandez (2:22:52) and Richard Morris. Kelly Calway won first for the female category (2:42:16), followed by Gina Slaby (2:48:04) and Emily Shertzer.

The recent government shutdown caused operational concerns for the marathon. The Marine Corps was functioning under operation-pertinent guidelines during the closure, causing public relation events to be cancelled. However, the government reopened, allowing the marathon to continue as scheduled.

“The atmosphere here is great,” Robin Cross, a runner who traveled from California to participate in the race, said. “People come to have fun and support our Marines.”

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1 Comments


  • Jason 335 days ago
    Great article...however, Georgetown is in DC not Virginia!

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