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Marine Corps Marathon returns in October — in person

The COVID-19 pandemic put a halt to many events after it came roaring in during spring 2020, including the annual Marine Corps Marathon in Washington.

Until the chaos of 2020, the event hadn’t missed an actual race since its inception in 1976.

But race organizers have confirmed that the 46th annual event will be held “live and in-person” on Halloween (or, Oct. 31) in Arlington, Virginia, and the nation’s capital.

“Throughout my many years heading the MCM Organization, we have faced various challenges and hurdled them all, often repeating the Marine Corps mantra to ‘adapt and overcome,’” Rick Nealis, the Marine Corps Marathon Organization director, said in a Tuesday press release. “This year will be no different.”

In 2020 the race, run by the Marines, shifted to a virtual-only event. As more U.S. citizens are getting vaccinated and restrictions are lifting, the 2021 event will be held in person with a virtual option.

The Marine Corps Marathon weekend includes the 46th annual marathon, as well as 50 km. and 10 km. races.

All three events also will be offered virtually, according to the press release.

General entry signups will be open to the public at noon Eastern Daylight Time on Wednesday, according to the Marine Corps Marathon website.

Runners registered for the weekend’s virtual events or who deferred from 2020 will have the first chance at slots for October, according to the press release. More instructions will be sent via email.

The 2021 event also will feature “four-star diplomats,” active lifestyle social media influencers chosen to participate in the race and promote physical fitness.

Applications to be a race “diplomat” will be accepted until May 31 on www.marinemarathon.com.

The Marine Corps Marathon Organization says it is “taking preventative measures” to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including reducing the amount of runners and dividing runners into socially-distant starting zones.

Andrea Scott is editor of Marine Corps Times. On Twitter: @_andreascott.

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