Marine Corps Marathon announces new, flatter course

Changes are afoot for the 2013 Marine Corps Marathon, which gets a new course aimed to level the route and add more scenery. Photo: The Marine Corps Marathon-Haraz N. Ghanbari/AP

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.

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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

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, The Washington Times Communities, Facebook and Twitter@KBruning.

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Karla Bruning

Karla Bruning is the host of On The Run, a TV and web show from New York Road Runners. Her work has appeared in Newsweek, American Athlete Magazine,,, The Philadelphia Inquirer, San Francisco Chronicle, Orlando Sentinel, and two dozen other outlets including ESPN2, Universal Sports and ABC in New York. She and her work have also received mentions from The New York Times, Runner's World, Fox Sports, Canadian Running, The Baltimore Sun, and PBS among others. She also covered the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver for The Washington Times.


A former Newsweek reporter, Karla has won a Fulbright scholarship for American journalists and reporting grants from the Scripps Howard, Carnegie and Knight Foundations. Karla holds degrees from Amherst College and Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.


When not pounding the pavement as a reporter, Karla is pounding the pavement as a runner. She has completed seven marathons, four triathlons, trains with the New York Harriers and is a member of New York Road Runners. She is a writer, editor, and on-camera reporter dedicated to covering the sport of running from a runner’s perspective. Find Karla on, Twitter@KBruning, Facebook and Google+.

Contact Karla Bruning


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