I’ll be running the Marine Corps Marathon this fall. Since I started running destination marathons, I’ve heard from fellow runners that this is, hands down, the coolest run Stateside. Ever since it’s been on my bucket list.
Typically, the marathon is dictated by a lottery system, but for a brief moment last Tuesday, rush entry was available. This allowed hopefuls to skip the lottery system and get confirmation right away. Needless to say, I had about ten alarms set to ensure that I booked it the second it opened.
The Marine Corps Marathon is known as “The People’s Marathon” primarily because, unlike other marathons, it does not offer a prize purse. Colonel Jim Fowler devised the event back in the 1970’s. The event showcased the Marine Corps, encouraged community goodwill, and helped The Few and the Proud qualify for Boston.
After the Vietnam War, the popularity of the military services declined in the eyes of many. At the same time, distance running was gaining considerable positive attention.
Since then, thousands of civilians and veterans have crossed the finish line of the MCM. Many of them have familiar names. Oprah’s run the event. So has former Vice President Al Gore. The most impressive finish time that I saw? Justice Clarence Thomas finished with a time of 3:11:00.
For me, this race goes so much more beyond the flashy who’s who list or the fact that it’s a BQ. These days, veterans hold a real place in my heart. Notre Dame’s MBA program heavily recruits veterans, so I was able to meet, work, and befriend many of them. They’re all great, hardworking people. MCM goes past every memorial in Washington, so I couldn’t think of a better way to honor our veterans.
I have three major goals for this race:
Run a Negative Split
Believe it or not, I’ve never done a negative split in a race. Allegedly, it’s the most efficient way to run a marathon. I’m hoping to stick to a solid training schedule and learn how to master this technique.
Qualify for Boston…Again
Looks like it’s time to re-introduce some good old-fashioned speedwork and tempo runs. I can’t wait! (Don’t quote me on that.) I’ll have to hit below 3:35:00. It’s go time.
Take a Picture with Kathrine Switzer
Kathrine Switzer is one of my running icons. She was the first woman to run the Boston Marathon. During the race, a man tried to rip off her racing bib – he didn’t realize that she was a competitor. I just realized she will be speaking at the MCM pasta dinner. Stay tuned. I’m praying I can snap a picture with her and thank her for being a badass.