NEW YORK, August 21, 2103 — Runners chasing a personal best at the Marine Corps Marathon on October 27 can breathe easy. Race officials announced Tuesday a new, flatter course for the 38th edition of the race. The changes also promise a more scenic run around Washington, D.C. and Arlington, Va.
The major alteration occurs between Miles 6 to 9, including a new route meant to save elevation changes and eliminate a potentially hazardous turn. The 2013 course cuts out a sharp curve that took participants to a 150-foot grade around the Georgetown Reservoir between Miles 7 and 8.
Now runners will head straight into Georgetown’s M Street, known for its cheering crowds. They’ll then tour the tree-lined Rock Creek and Potomac Parkway, part of the National Register of Historic Places. Best of all, those miles will be run on level ground. It’s the first time since 2006 the course will take this route.
“This new course offers more spacious and flatter roadways for runners as they travel through National Park landscape and under historical bridges,” said Marine Corps Marathon Director Rick Nealis in a statement. “Georgetown, especially M Street, remains important to our runners and, annually, the hot spot for spectators and supporters.”
The Marine Corps Marathon has one other change in store during Mile 19 at the National Mall. The course will now take runners along 3rd Street to Constitution Avenue for a front-row view of the U.S. Capitol along 1st Street. A jaunt down Maryland Avenue and back to 3rd Street will afford runners views of the Smithsonian Museums and other D.C. landmarks.
The Marine Corps Marathon is the largest marathon in the U.S. not to offer any prize money. In 2012, 23,519 runners finished the race. The 2013 race sold out in a record 2 hours and 27 minutes.
An interactive course map of the new route is available at www.marinemarathon.com.
Karla Bruning is host of On The Run, New York Road Runners’ show about running. She has finished six marathons, four triathlons and trains with the New York Harriers. Follow Karla at RunKarlaRun.com, The Washington Times Communities, Facebook and Twitter@KBruning.
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