Race Review: the 2011 Marine Corps Marathon

It took a bit of faith to watch the snow falling yesterday afternoon and still believe that today would be a good day to race. But faithful or not, we were all rewarded when the early morning near-freezing temperatures warmed up nicely and provided a perfect race day.
This year’s the course — differing only slightly from last year’s version — is still one of the most beautiful courses in all of marathoning. After climbing the early hills in Arlington, Virginia, runners streamed down along Spout Run Parkway, adjacent to the Potomac River. The trees were resplendent in their fall coloring, and runners could see the spires of Georgetown University across the river.
After climbing up to and crossing Key Bridge into Washington DC, runners turned left and headed out on River Road, paralleling the C&O Canal National Park. The rest of the race brought runners down Hains Point (thank you lululemon athletica cheering team!) to the Lincoln Memorial, along the National Mall and the Smithsonian Museums, past the Capitol, and eventually back across to Virginia and the finish at the iconic Iwo Jima Memorial.
The only problem marring the race was experienced by mid- to back-of-the-pack runners, who had to come to a complete standstill immediately after crossing the finish line. The runners were being carefully directed through a gauntlet of marines who distributed medals, and then past photgraphers, and food tables. It must have sounded good in theory, but when thousands of runners piled up at this bottleneck, it seems obvious that more room must be provided.
Still, the MCM proved once again that it deserves it’s ranking as one of the top marathons in the country, and one of my favorite races.


About horowitzrun

Jeff is a certified running, cycling, and triathlon coach, and is the author of "My First 100 Marathons" (Skyhorse Press 2008) and "Smart Marathon Training" (Velo Press 2011). An obviously addicted runner, Jeff has run at least one marathon in every state and on 6 continents, including marathons in South Africa, China, Bangkok, and Antarctica. Jeff is available for group, one-on-one, and virtual coaching. Options include: 1. Basic Training Plan. This includes a customized training schedule geared towards a goal race, with a detailed running schedule that would include all distances and target times for each workout, including speedwork, tempo, and endurance sessions. 2. Complete Fitness and Race Plan. This includes the plan listed above, plus the non-running workouts and drills that runners need for better overall fitness and performance. You would get strength & core workouts, as well as run-specific training drills and stretches. 3. Virtual Coaching. This includes all of the above, implemented on a week-by-week basis. We review each week's progress at week's end so that adjustments can be made. The program is tailored to suit you right up to race day. It involves more contact, on a weekly or even daily basis. 4. Full Coaching for athletes in the Washington DC area. All of the above, plus a weekly workout together including speedwork, drills, and strength training. 5. Individual track sessions. One-on-one track-based workouts. Contact Jeff for pricing.
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