Changes to Marine Corps Marathon Course in Crystal City

by ARLnow.com September 11, 2012 at 9:50 am 3,370 20 Comments

Runners and spectators of the 37th Marine Corps Marathon on Sunday, October 28, will notice a course change this year when participants make their way through Crystal City.

The up-and-back loop along Crystal Drive has been eliminated for Miles 22-25. This year, as runners enter Crystal City from the 14th Street Bridge, they will continue along Army Navy Drive and turn onto 12th Street South. Then, the new route will take participants along Clark Street and 23rd Street before reaching Crystal Drive.

The changes were necessary due to construction on Crystal Drive.

Another change involves runners traveling along a stretch of Long Bridge Drive and then turning onto North Boundary Channel Drive. Parallel to the LBJ parking lot, runners will continue along Boundary Channel onto the Route 110 on-ramp on the same stretch of highway where the MCM began. Marathoners will continue to run alongside Arlington National Cemetery to the finish at the Marine Corps War Memorial.

As in previous years, the race begins on Route 110. However, this year the starting line will be 700 feet closer to the Pentagon.

All of the changes can be viewed online on the course map.

  • KARLington

    Ran it this weekend as a test…big improvement! Thanks MCM.

  • Good Grief

    This is by far the WORST leg of the MCM.

    • DarkHeart

      From a runner’s perspective, I thought Hains Point was considered the worst part because it’s harder for fans to get all the way out to the point.

      • Good Grief

        From my experience, Georgetown was the worst as far as fans go. People were crossing right in front of packs of runners. I think the crappy roads, and the fact that it was the last part of the race just made it extra painful. The GPS tracker didn’t work in Crystal City either. At least there is a donut at the end 🙂

        • Arlingtoner33

          ughhh, as a runner, that is absolutely the most annoying thing about road races on main streets. People need to utilize commone sense or a desiganted crossing area when trying to get through a race area.

          MCM is going to be my first marathon this year tho, can’t wait!

        • DarkHeart

          The exploding manholes always remind me of the fire swamp.

          • Good Grief

            Its an amazing race – you will love it!! Good luck, pee before hand 🙂

          • General Zod

            Poop too!

  • KARLington

    Uh, the new pieces of the route…not the whole course!

  • Regis

    Crystal Driver sounds like someone who works at CCR.

  • Ryan

    Lame. How come it seems like once a month they close down a bunch of roads in Crystal City for a race? Now that they’re running on Clark street that means I can’t drive anywhere because they shut off access to my building’s parking garage. There’s gotta be other places where they can have races in this town.

    • Sarah

      Yep. It’s definitely annoying to live in Crystal City and have access to your building cut while any group who wants to shuts down the roads for a foot race.

  • Ryan

    @Ryan, you will still be in your diabetes coma by the time the race is over, don’t worry

    • Ryan

      Yep, everyone who lives in crystal city has diabetes.

      It’s weird to be arguing with myself.

  • AlexandriaMegg

    Does miles 17-20 look odd to anyone else? :0

    • Arlingtoner33


  • Arlington, Northside

    I liked the old course that took you up Capitol Hill, and had Hanes Point at the 17-18 mile mark much better. I cross back over the river and I want to be close to done, not a miserable ‘nother 6 miles.

  • Ashton Heights

    Crystal City leg was boringggg last year. Change looks like a big improvement. Can’t wait!

  • Michael H.

    I think the new route should be OK. But I do hope that construction crews can finish up work on Long Bridge Drive before race day. The storm sewer system is not currently operational on that road. Thus, every time there’s a rain storm, LBD turns into a pond.

    The pavement is in rough shape too. There are still 6.5 weeks until race day. Let’s get moving on the LBD renovations.

    • MCMer

      6.5 weeks!!!

      Guess I better lace up the shoes and get training.


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