Marine Corps Marathon questions... (Read 704 times)

    Any MCM vets?  

    My first marathon...  Can't wait.

    I've got some friends and family showing up to cheer me on - just trying to figure the best way for them to bounce around on race day. 

    Is MetroBus or MetroRail the way to go?


    Do Metro cards need to be pre-purchased?  


    With all the stops throughout the metro-area, is it likely that they will be able to hit a few different locations to see runners?


    Thanks for any help! 




      I prefer the subway.  Think of it this way... some streets will be clogged up and/or closed for the race.  The subway? Won't get stopped for the race.  Some of the stations may be crowded.


      Metro cards do not need to be pre-purchased. There are ticket booths at the stations.  But at a crowded station (like after the race, in Rosslyn), it surely is nice to already have a prepaid card.  DC locals can most certainly give you better skinny than me.


      Absolutely possible to hit a few different locations.  Georgetown, stuff around the Capitol, and Crystal City.  The start/finish (though this will be crowded).  Very accessible.


        I've only done MCM 3 times. My sister has metroed to the mall area, near the national gallery, so say hi, then cut over to the other side of the mall to say hi again. From there, getting on the metro at Smithsonian to go to the finish in Rosslyn was very crowded and difficult. She got to the finish way later than I did, and I certainly did not get there quickly. It was easier (for her) in the years when the race course did Haines Point after the mall instead of before. After the race, the Rosslyn station has huge lines. It helps if you already have a fare card, as many of the people in line are waiting to take their turn at trying to figure out how to buy a fare card. You don't even know that until your part of the line finally enters the station. As an alternative, I like to walk up Wilson Blvd to the Court House station (about 3/4 mile) because after the race, walking is possible while standing is agony. There was a great restaurant with beer and pizza on our way from Rosslyn to Court House, too. No lines at Court House, you get a seat on the train and even if you are riding back thru the Rosslyn station, you are seated when the new hordes board the train. hope this helps

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          I've heard about terrible lines afterward at Pentagon, and at Arlington, and at Rosslyn (different years, I think). The year I did it, we shuttled over to Crystal City (MCM had a shuttle for that), and Crystal City metro was fine.


          So maybe keep an open mind about which station to use afterward, depending where the crowds go. Or probably better to plan ymmv's idea (Court House). And yeah, have a metrocard prepaid for afterward, cause there will be out-of-towners who don't know how to use the machines to buy/recharge cards, and they will very likely be clogged up -- but you can do that when you first board in the morning -- just buy enough to include the afterward trip too.


          DW reported that, as a spectator, there was nowhere to buy food whilst spectating -- she spectated via metro, popping around the course. We had worked out estimated time points at different places.

          It's a 5k. It hurt like hell...then I tried to pick it up. The end.

            Just one suggestion.  Whatever you do, do not try to take the Rosslyn metro after the race.  At MCM in 2010, the lines were phenomenal and not moving at all.  We accidentally found a shuttle bus to Georgetown a couple blocks from Rosslyn and took it to the metro stop near campus.  


            Not exactly on point to your original questions, but whatever you do, avoid Rosslyn. 

              Good stuff.  Thanks all!


                I've never run MCM but as a local, I think Metrorail is the way to go.  Metrobus is for the professionals.


                +1 on buying a Metro card with the amount they'll need beforehand and not having to wait for people to figure out the farecard machines on race day. 


                Again, I've never done the race, but if Rosslyn is a nightmare, you may want to walk to Arlington Cemetary if it's open and you're staying on the Blue Line. 


                FWIW, last year, I had two friends running and wanted to cheer on both of them.  I used the 14th Street bridge to see them shortly after the start as they entered Hains Point and jogged back to the Pentagon to see them at Mile 20 (as I was crossing back into Virginia, I also got to see the front runners, which was kinda cool).


                Good luck at the race!  (Even though I don't know anyone running, I'm planning to cheer people on at the Pentagon again this year).

                “What counts is not necessarily the size of the dog in the fight – it’s the fight in the dog. – Dwight D. Eisenhower


                My blog is JT Running DC.  It's awesome.


                  This year will be my 4th MCM. My wife manages to see me at 5 locations as well as the start/finish. Here's what she does. 1) Watch the start 2) Then follow the bike trail next to the river up to the Key Bridge (mile 5) She has to hurry to make this one. 3) After key bridge, cross into georgetown and follow the waterfront (K street) along to Rock Creek pkwy to mile 10. 4) While I'm doing Haines point she walks along Independence Ave to mile 15 5) This year since we loop back on Independence she can see me again there at mile 17. 6) Afterwards she walks along the mall infront of the Smithsonian Castle mile 19. 7) Take metro from Smithsonian to Arlington Cemetery stop and walk along to race route to the finish. Don't take the metro to Roslyn as others have mentioned. They won't make it to the finish in time. Also, after the race avoid Roslyn metro station. Last year I walked not quite a mile to the Courthouse metro station and got on a train right away. Another lesson I've learned is to buy your observers an obnoxious ballon on a long string. That way you will see the balloon and can call out to them. It will be very hard for them to find you. You will need to find them. Also, use Google maps Street view ahead of time with them and agree what side of the street they will be on and more importantly where you will meet them after the race. Have a good time. This is a great race.

                  PRs: 5k May10: 22:53 10 miler Oct 09: 1:23:32 20K Aug 10: 1:44.44 1/2 Marathon Sept 09: 1:56:33 Marathon Nov 09: 4:30:41


                  Upcoming races:

                  Leesburg 20k  8/14/11

                  Virginia Beach Rock & Roll Half 9/4/11

                  Steamtown Marathon  10/9/11

                  Marine Corps Marathon 10/30/11