The Marine Corps Marathon is one of the largest marathons in the country (and world) with 30,000 entrants. It is by far one of the most popular races in America with the 2013 edition selling out in 2 hours and 27 minutes (which was faster than the female winner and almost faster than the male winner of the race!) and the 2012 race reaching capacity in 2 hours and 41 minutes. However, last year’s registration was plagued with technical problems for Active.com who was handling the sign-up process. So, for the 2014 race, the Marine Corps Marathon, or the “People’s Marathon”, will handle registrations through a lottery event.
This year’s lottery process will begin on February 23 (12:00PM EST) and run through March 15 (12:00PM EST). This is similar to other races (St. George Marathon and NYC Marathon to name two), but unlike NYC, there are no qualifying times to guarantee entry for faster runners. To gain automatic entry, you can run for one of the Marine Corps Marathon charity partners.
Guarantee Entry to the Marine Corps Marathon
However, in addition to the option of running for a charity partner to guarantee entry, the Marine Corps Marathon is offering one other option, which I find to be a great one. The option is to run and finish the 17.75K Marine Corps race on April 12. The odd distance is to signify the year that the Marine Corps was founded and translates to a distance of 11.03 miles run near the Marine Base at Quantico. There will be a cap at 1,775 runners for this event and registration opens on February 19. My guess is that the registration will close within minutes of its opening as runners look to lock in their registration for the Marine Corps Marathon. Remember, you will have to run and finish the event, so just signing up for it will not get it done. You can find more information here at the race page.
Is it worth traveling and running there just to get an entry for the MCM?
I know some readers may really want to run the Marine Corps Marathon but question traveling all the way to Prince William County, VA just for this race (the 17.75K Race). To be honest, if I was in a position to run the Marine Corps Marathon this year and really wanted to, I would not let distance stop me from guaranteeing my entry. There are several major airports within an hour and half drive time. This gives a ton of award options for runners from all over the US. It is on a weekend, which is good for award travel to the big three Washington airports. And this gives you an incredible opportunity to run a unique race honoring our US Marine Corps! I will have a writeup as the race gets closer to help those who may plan on running it with travel to it. For now, I would definitely encourage you to add the date April 12 on your calendar to take in a great race and guarantee entry to the Marine Corps Marathon this fall!
HT: Runner’s World