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Marine Corps Marathon A Magnet For First Timers

  • By Duncan Larkin
  • Published Oct. 25, 2011
  • Updated Oct. 25, 2011 at 9:41 AM UTC
Over 30,000 people will run near the U.S. Capitol Building at this year's Marine Corps Marathon next weekend. Photo: Reuters

Over 30% of runners will be debuting this year.

Over 30,000 people will run near the U.S. Capitol Building at this year's Marine Corps Marathon next weekend. Photo: Reuters

It’s not known as the “People’s Marathon” for nothing.

This weekend, the 36th edition of the Marine Corps Marathon kicks off in Washington, D.C. At the starting line will be runners like Jennifer Plasse–participants who are tacking the marathon for the first time.

The Marine Corps Marathon is the largest marathon not to offer prize money for its winners. According to race officials, of the 30,000 runners, 11,000 will be debuting.

“It’s word of mouth. Runners tell people, almost preach the message, that if you’re going to run your first marathon you ought to run it with the U.S. Marines,” said Rick Nealis, the race’s director.

Nealis, himself a retired Marine talks about the discipline and organization required to stage the race.

“We run it like a military operation,” he said. “There’s a command center. If we say we will have water, food or aid, you don’t have to worry about running out. We guarantee it.”

For More: Reuters

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Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin is the news editor at Competitor.com and a freelance journalist who’s been covering the sport of running for over five years. He’s run 2:32 in the marathon and won the Himalayan 100-Mile Stage Race in 2007. His first running book, RUN SIMPLE, was released last July.

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