Marine Corps Marathon and Runner’s World Challenge registration opens

Registration for the Marine Corps Marathon opens Wednesday, March 27 at noon. Photo: Marine Corps Marathon-US Marine Corps

NEW YORK, March 27, 2013 — Registration for the 38th Marine Corps Marathon opens today, Wednesday, March 27 at noon EST. The 2012 edition of the race sold-out in two hours and 41 minutes, so runners eager to nab one of the 30,000 spots for this year’s event on October 27 need to have their trigger fingers ready.

Known as “The People’s Marathon” because it’s the world’s largest marathon not to offer prize money, the Marine Corps Marathon has resisted moving to a lottery to dole out bibs even as demand for the race has increased.

The Bank of America Chicago Marathon, the nation’s second largest marathon, earlier this month was forced to move to a lottery after their registration system, run by, crashed when thousands of runners logged on the minute race registration opened. The ING New York City Marathon, the nation’s largest marathon, moved to a lottery in 1999, and many popular D.C. area races like the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run and Nike Women Half Marathon DC utilize lotteries as well.

As the third largest marathon in the U.S. and eighth largest in the world, the Marine Corps Marathon would seem like the next obvious candidate to go with a lottery, especially considering how quickly the 2012 event sold-out.

But the Marine Corps has held its ground, and hopes to avoid any race-day registration problems. “To best support the high demand and heavy volume of online traffic, the MCM has been working with the online registration service to test system capacity to avoid delays and server issues,” said Marine Corps Marathon Director Rick Nealis. “We expect runners will have immediate success on registration day.”

After the Chicago marathon debacle, the official Marine Corps Marathon Twitter feed tweeted: “Worked hard in 2012 to handle two hour 41 minute registration. Working just as hard this year.”

But to help runners through what will no doubt be a harried couple of hours, the Marine Corps Marathon has three tips for runners trying to register: 

The Marine Corps Marathon is the third largest marathon in the U.S. (Photo: Journalist 1st Class Monica Darby/ US Navy)

Tip #1:

Once the registration form has been opened, fill out all fields thoroughly and completely and consider which items you want to purchase. Brooks training shirts and hats, Carbo Dining-In tickets, the MarathonFoto super coupon, and the MCM Online Trainer will additionally be on sale on MCM registration day.

Tip #2:

After submitting registration payment, a confirmation message will appear on screen. Print the message as it includes each individual runner registration ID number.

Tip #3:

Don’t freak out if you fail to receive a confirmation email immediately after completing the registration process. The distribution of confirmation emails will be purposely delayed to reduce stress on system throughout open registration.

Coordinated by the U.S. Marine Corp, the Marine Corps Marathon course starts in Arlington, Va., and winds through Washington, D.C., passing many of the city’s famous landmarks like the National Mall, Kennedy Center, U.S. Capitol, and a plethora of national memorials.

Registration for the race is $99. Runners can also get a guaranteed entry through one of the race’s official charity partners or the Runner’s World Challenge, which gives runners access to a suite of VIP perks like shakeout runs and course strategy sessions with Runner’s World editors, private bag check, training plans, and more. Registration for the Runner’s World Challenge is already open. General race registration opens today at noon EST.

For more information or to register, visit

Karla Bruning is host of On The Run, New York Road Runners’ web show about running. She has completed six marathons, two triathlons and trains with the New York Harriers. Follow Karla’s “Notes From a Running Nerd” at, 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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