Military Benefits

New routes for Marine Corps Marathon, 10K; start window extended

The Marine Corps Marathon announced Wednesday it will keep the starting line open for an hour to accommodate runners who are delayed due to transportation problems.

The 41st marathon and Marine Corps Marathon 10K will still be Oct. 30. The start time for the marathon wheelchair and handcycle participants remains 7:40 a.m., and the start time for runners remains 7:55 a.m. The MCM10K will begin at 9:15 a.m.

To minimize the stress on runners, the Marine Corps Marathon will keep the starting line open until 8:55 a.m., which is 40 minutes longer than in previous years, said MCM marketing manager Marc Goldman.

The changes are a result of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority's SafeTrack program, which evaluates and repairs sections of the Metro train tracks throughout the year. Under the SafeTrack program, Metro will open at 7 a.m. instead of running early for the marathon and other special events.

Goldman said the 14-minute mile pace remains in place across the entire course. Runners will need to reach "The Gauntlet" at Mile 15.5 by 12:38 p.m. to avoid being diverted to a shorter route. Those who pass The Gauntlet must reach 14th Street and D Street by 1:15 p.m. in order to "Beat the Bridge."

The new marathon course cuts the time spent on Rock Creek Parkway by shortening it to nearly 2 miles, Goldman said.

"This affords runners more time to pass The Gauntlet at 15.5 at 12:38 p.m. and reach the bridge," he said.

To restore lost Rock Creek Parkway mileage, segments will be added in Arlington, Virginia, at Mile 3, at the Pentagon South Parking Lot at Mile 21, and along Crystal Drive at Mile 22.

The 10K course will relocate from the National Mall in Washington to exclusively in Arlington. 

The marathon is capped at 30,000 runners, and last year's 10K had almost 8,000 participants. Goldman said about 24,000 participants use public transportation on race day. 

Metro will run eight-car trains on the yellow and blue lines, but Goldman encouraged runners to take advantage of other forms of transportation.

The frequency will also increase on the yellow line from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. and on the blue line from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The Marine Corps Marathon will provide free shuttle service to the starting line on Route 110 halfway between the Pentagon and Arlington Memorial Drive. The shuttles will run from these locations: 23rd Street and Crystal Drive in Crystal City from 4:30 a.m. to 8 a.m.; Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor from 4:30 a.m. to 6:45 a.m.; Ronald Reagan Building in D.C. from 4:30 a.m. to 7 a.m.

Arlington Transit will open early in Ballston to provide transportation on the ART 42 route. It will transport runners and spectators from 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. for $1.75.

For more information, visit the Marine Corps Marathon website.

Charlsy Panzino covers veterans education, employment and transition issues, as well as travel, entertainment and fitness. Email her at

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