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home > news > usa: mid_atlantic > 38th marine corps marathon unveils flatter course

38th Marine Corps Marathon Unveils Flatter Course
Event returns to scenic Rock Creek Parkway, resulting in reduced elevation

38th Marine Corps Marathon Unveils Flatter Course

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Posted Wednesday, 21 August, 2013

QUANTICO, Va. - The 38th Marine Corps Marathon (MCM) course will feature a flatter course and a new approach to the U.S. Capitol. The notable change in course elevation occurs from Miles 6 through 9 with runners now travelling north on Rock Creek and Potomac Parkway to Beach Drive and then venturing back along the Parkway on roads that are relatively flat.

Previously, runners would turn left onto Canal Road after crossing the Key Bridge to Georgetown before scaling a 150-foot grade around the Georgetown Reservoir between Miles 7 and 8. The MCM course now will send runners immediately into the welcoming throngs of spectators along Georgetown's renowned M Street prior to entering Rock Creek and Potomac Parkway on a route that has not been part of the MCM course since 2006. The beautifully tree-lined Rock Creek and Potomac Parkway was developed in the 1920s and '30s and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

"This new course offers more spacious and flatter roadways for runners as they travel through National Park landscape and under historical bridges," says Rick Nealis, MCM Director. "Georgetown, especially M Street, remains important to our runners and, annually, the hot spot for spectators and supporters."

Another slight modification in the MCM course occurs along Mile 19 on the National Mall with the marathon route now running on 3rd Street to Constitution and then directly in front of the majestic U.S. Capitol along 1st Street. Runners will continue to travel adjacent to the Capitol and then head onto Maryland Avenue and back onto 3rd Street capturing views of the Smithsonian Museums and other notable landmarks.

All MCM participants must maintain a 14 minute-per-mile pace throughout the marathon as the course closes seven hours after the start. Wheelchair and hand cycle participants begin at 7:40 a.m., with the 38th MCM immediately following at 7:55 a.m. on Route 110 in Arlington.

The interactive 2013 MCM course map created by Bethesda, MD-based Geocentric now is available at



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