This weekend was the 37th Marine Corps Marathon aka MCM which is one heck of a marathon with 35.000 people - about 23500 finished. The event is divided in a 10k and a full marathon.
I left home on Friday. Wen to my hotel and just chilled. The last couple of weeks at work has been very hard emotionally (although I don't do hospice - what I do is closely linked with hospice).
Got up Saturday morning and had breakfast at the 'greasy spoon' of the hotel - enuf said :-) I then went to the EXPO. For the first time I had time to bum around and actually go to the booths I wanted to go to ... and I managed to get out of there without buying anything.
On my way back to the hotel, I went to lunch at a bookstore/restaurant I had been recommended on Dupont Circle. It was awesome (Quinoa, greek yoghurt, roasted nuts, granola and fruit). Got back to the hotel and met up with John (JOPAPGH) who was staying with me Saturday night. We chatted and went to dinner. We had a early dinner - good thing - because we beat the crowds.
Of course we were keeping an eye on Sandy - so we knew how we needed to dress in the am.
We left the hotel just before 6am - and on the way in the elevator we met a challenged athlete. No arm and a spring leg. These guys are amazing. Headed to the shuttle and to the start area. Now, I told you how large this was - then add families. It is huge!!!!
John and and I had different finish times in mind, so we separated fat the start - and after the national anthem there was a flyby by two Osprey's - if you want to see what they look like click on link www.marines.com/operatin
.. and then the gun ... no - it is the marines - so we use a howitzer - the first gun for the wheel chair - and the second for the 26.2 and 10 milers.
I am not kidding you when I say it is wall to wall runners the entire time. There is a LOT of people. The weather stayed dry - but it got windy.
I did OK for the first half - I was with the 5hr pace, but after 14 miles I started to slow down. A hip injury from a fall two weeks ago started to create limitations. But I would not give up, so I put on some music - and walked very brisk the remaining 12 miles of the event, and finished in 5:40 or 13.1 min mile. BUT - I finished.
The biggest challenge was after the race. Standing in line for the bus (the line at the Metro was no better). I made it back to my hotel in 2 hrs - I had to rush and get a shower for the shuttle to pick me up for the airport. Flight was only 45 min late ... so I was back home at midnight.
There were two of us on the plane with MCM shirts - the pilot recognized us on the PA. He had run the 10k himself that morning.
No blog will accurately describe the experience of MCM. It has to be experienced. However, if you want to participate - you have to be fast - this year it sold out in 2 hrs and 40 min.