Tribute to the Marine Corps Marathon: A Few Words

Posted on September 10, 2014 by Phil Thompson | 0 comments

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Since we started creating these maps, people have requested the MCM. It’s a beloved marathon, has a great history and purpose, and the scenery is absolutely spectacular. I mean–it’s the capital for God’s sake. The course winds around some of the best of it.

Having been born in the metro area (Takoma Park, Maryland), worked for three separate summers between college years in DC (COHA, CSIS, Shriver), and visited my extended family in the area every single year I’ve been alive, I feel a special kinship with DC. I loved the stateliness of the monuments, the energy behind all the competing agendas, the protests and roving packs of business suits, the smooth and futuristic metro. It was a place where an intern could touch the hem of the cloak of power and feel important for one summer.

The marathon itself has been around since 1976. One thought behind the event was to bring some positive attention to the Marine Corps post-Vietnam by combining the USMC with the rising popularity of long-distance running. The event has grown year after year, and now ranks as one of the largest distance events in the country.

The sites of the course nod to U.S. history. On the map, starting from top left:

  • George Washington Parkway
  • Key Bridge into Georgetown
  • Key intersection in Georgetown (At a bank on M and 14th St, I believe)
  • Thomas Jefferson Memorial
  • Capitol Building
  • U.S. Forestry Service building
  • Pentagon
  • Arlington National Cemetery (starting line)
  • Marine Corps Memorial (finish line)

Good luck to the MCM runners this year!


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