Marine Corps Marathon 10k {recap}

Marine Corps Marathon 10k was the most interesting race I’ve ever run:

  • Hurricane Sandy threated to ruin Marine Corps Marathon weekend
  • A suspicious package near Mile 4.5 literally stopped the race for 10+ minutes
  • Expo conditions (3 days of 10+ hours/day on your feet) are not ideal for racing

My expectations were low, very low, for the MCM 10k.  I knew I would be working 10+ hours a day for three days.  I knew I would be lucky to get 6 hours of sleep/night.  And I knew my training (or lack thereof) would not get me a PR.  None of that mattered – I was just happy I had the chance to run.Pre-Race
I didn’t feel very prepared for this race.  I spent the last 5 nights in a hotel and didn’t realize I had forgotten a few race day essentials until 11pm the night before.  Thankfully, I work with runners and I was able to find everything I needed – but it’s never a good feeling to be unprepared.    

Hurricane Sandy was threatening to ruin the race and I was thankful to wake up to NO rain.  I made my usual PB/toast/banana breakfast and felt as ready as I could be.  I met the other Guru’s in the hotel lobby and we walked to the start, about 1 mile away.  It was such a nice morning, and the walk was the perfect way to wake-up & prepare for the race.  We had just enough time to relax, check our bags, and make our way to the start. 

My goal was to run 42 minutes – I knew it would be hard but attainable.  I felt pretty good considering the lack of training and expo legs.  The weather was perfect and it wasn’t until we made it to Crystal City that the wind picked up.  My unofficial plan was to bank time in the beginning, hold on for miles 4 & 5, and pick up the pace for the last 1.2 miles.

Mile 1: 6:33
Mile 2: 6:40
Mile 3: 6:45
Mile 4: 6:50

At Mile 4.5 the most interesting thing happened: all of the runners stopped.  Not as in, here’s the finish line, congratulations, you’re done.  It was more along the lines of there’s a suspicious package in the road, we’ve stopped the race to investigate, and you can’t run any further.  It was totally surreal – I never thought that would happen during a race.  Runners were in disbelief and didn’t know what to do, we were all just hanging around.  Note: I’m happy they investigated the suspicious package; no race is worth dying for but it kind of sucks when you’re running hard, have to randomly stop for 10 minutes, and then start running again.  Once the race started again, it was total chaos.  Everyone I had passed was now on equal playing ground, and it was too hard to run fast for 1.7 miles – it’s not enough time for the crowds to disperse.  I tried to run as fast as I could but it was useless, my legs had tightened and I was ready for the race to be over.  {unofficial} Results
Time: 49:30 (includes the time while runners were stopped)
Overall Place: 131/6,472
Sex: 27/4,221
Age Group: 11/780

The Guru’s had great races, too – Glenn won the race, Trish ran strong, and Jess finished her first 10k ever! Congrats G’s, I’m proud to call you colleagues and runners!Final Thoughts: The race was really well organized and started exactly on time.  Water stops were efficient and had plenty of water.  A huge thank you to all of the volunteers – a race can’t run smoothly without you!  I thought the race could have done a better job with the mile makers – they were off, specifically at Miles 2 & 3.  Also, I thought the race could use more water stops.  If it’s impossible to add stops, I’d love to see a change to the location of the stops.  I’m sure the 10 minute stop had something to do with my dehydration but I was thirsty the whole race.  And for the suspicious package, I’m thankful that they stopped the race.  That was a great call by security and the race team.  Thank you for using your best judgment to keep the runners safe.   

MCM 10K is a great local race, with great support and infrastructure. If you haven’t had a chance to run MCM 10k, add it to your running calendar!

Did you run MCM or 10k?  Tell me about your race!


{will run for margaritas} is on:


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  1. It sounds like is was fun! Everyone is so focused on the marathon that often times many forget about how great the 10K is. I’ve heard it goes through some nice areas of DC as well. Congratulations! Glad you were able to run. Hope you and your husband are safe inside your home. Thinking of you, many prayers my beautiful friend.

  2. One perk of being slower, is I didn’t have to stop for the suspicious package! It was a great race and I absolutely loved being a part of MCM weekend.

  3. I didn’t know you were running this! Sounds like a weird experience. Well, you were part of history! I am glad you had fun and made the most of it.

  4. Wow, that’s crazy. I’m glad it was nothing dangerous and everyone was safe!

  5. This was my first 10k ever–I’ve only been running for six months–but it was awesome. The crowds and the Marines lining the route were totally inspiring. I beat my goal of 70 minutes by more than two minutes and was thrilled. Receiving my medal from an actual Marine and having him salute me–me!–was amazing. I can’t wait to do it again. Like Mary, I had no idea they stopped the race until I connected with my much-faster friend after the race.

  6. Omg I’m so glad you’re okay! Although man that must have really sucked!

  7. Wow- sounds like a race you will never forget! Did the marathoners have to stop too? Good job for hanging in for the last couple of miles, even though it must have been super frustrating to dodge all of the slower people you just passed. There is a marathon in Spokane that goes over railroad tracks and one year the marathoners had to stop for 15 minutes. That would be my worst nightmare ever!

    • OMG, I can’t even imagine how frustrating it would be to stop for a train! Thankfully, the marathoners didn’t have to stop – just the 10k’ers!

  8. I was in this race too! I didn’t know you were there. It was definitely crazy to have to stop like that. I see it as a great tempo workout for the first 4.6, and then a nice interval at the end. 🙂 What was up with the mile markers being really off? Glad I had a Garmin. Congrats on a strong race!

  9. Wow,I can’t believe they stopped the race! That must have been really chaotic. You still had a great finisher time!!! Congrats!

  10. That must be just about the oddest thing to happen during a 10K! Of course there was a suspicious package during ATM a few years ago, but they just rerouted runners so they got bonus mileage. 😉 Guess it’s just one of the “perks” of living in the DC Metro area! Glad the weather wasn’t a factor for you (and the marathoners).

  11. Wow. Yeah that would be hard to completely stop mid-race for 10 min’s and start again. Never heard of that happening, but of course, safety first. Still a great 10K time. And you might need to share your AB routine with us readers. Ripped!

  12. Wow…I would have been glad to stop for that too…scary stuff! I didn’t know they had a 10k as part of the weekend. Very cool!

  13. Glad you managed to run before Sandy came.

  14. I was there, too, but waaaay behind you 🙂 My time was 1:11, which was 4 minutes faster than my first 10K last month. I thought it was a fabulous race, overall. I’m relatively new to running and my Garmin so I thought my signal was just off due to the buildings, not that the course markers were off! Glad to know I wasn’t the only one going “what the hell?” I can’t wait to take on the full marathon next year!

    • Congratulations on running 4 minutes faster – that’s HUGE!! Do you have other races planned for the rest of the year? Congrats again!

      • I have the MC Turkey Trot at Quantico and Jingle All the Way 8K in DC to finish up the year. In the spring, I’m planning for the MC 17.75 for a guaranteed entry into the Marathon, Dismal Swamp Stomp 1/2 in Chesapeake, VA, Zooma Annapolis 1/2… then probably a short one in most of the off months. It sounds like we might overlap some races so I’ll be sure to cheer for you as you zoom past at the turn-arounds!

  15. Congrats! I ran the 10k two years ago and did the marathon this year! Such an awesome experience, pretty sure this is the only marathon I’ll ever do in the future because I got so spoiled with the efficiency and crowd support. Just cheered for some friends here at the Rock n Roll Savannah today and I don’t think I would have finished it here because there weren’t many people on the course!

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