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BREAKING: Marine Corps Marathon Canceled Again

(Updated at 1:40 p.m.) For the second year in a row, the in-person Marine Corps Marathon and associated festivities have been cancelled.

The Marathon, a major tourism event for Arlington, had been scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 31. It kicks off in Rosslyn and winds with way into and through D.C. before crossing the 14th Street Bridge, rounding the Pentagon, and finishing in Rosslyn.

Organizers cited health concerns as the reason for the cancellation.

“After exhausting all possibilities, the opportunity to safely operate and execute a live event is just not feasible at this time,” said Rick Nealis, director of Marine Corps Marathon Organization, in a statement.

The cancellation is mostly Covid related, we’re told.

“Due to the current Health Protection Condition level as well as the workplace safety measures directed by the White House Safer Federal Workforce Task Force, the Marine Corps Marathon Organization had to make the difficult decision to cancel this year’s live and in-person events,” Nealis clarified, in response to an inquiry from ARLnow. “Our main priority is to preserve total force readiness as part of the Department of Defense and the National Capital Region.”

The full press release about the cancellation is below.

The 2021 Marine Corps Marathon (MCM) Weekend events scheduled for Friday, October 29 through Sunday, October 31 in Arlington, Virginia and the nation’s capital, have been canceled due to security and safety precautions currently in place.

“After exhausting all possibilities, the opportunity to safely operate and execute a live event is just not feasible at this time,” said Rick Nealis, director of Marine Corps Marathon Organization (MCMO). “Though we had high hopes to welcome home our running community this October, we are excited to still be able to celebrate the 46th running of “The People’s Marathon” virtually. We are anxiously looking forward to next year when we can #RunWithTheMarines in person once again.”

“The 46th Marine Corps Marathon is now a virtual event! We are excited and look forward to seeing the results of your hard work and dedication over the past year,” said Colonel Brooks, commanding officer of Marine Corps Installations National Capital Region – Marine Corps Base Quantico. “Although we were not able to conduct a live event for 2021, we trust that each of you understand that safety for you and our great support team took priority. As Marines, we are trained to adapt and overcome, and this is a great test of your ability to adapt and overcome all things this year has presented. I ask that you run hard and with purpose, and finish strong! Be safe everyone! Semper Fi!”

Runners currently in the live MCM, MCM10K and MCM50K categories have the option to:

  • Receive a virtual entry to the distance of the same race.
  • Receive a full registration refund.
  • Defer entry to 2022 at no additional fee.

Further instructions and a link to the registration change form will be sent to the e-mail address provided by participants during registration.

The virtual MCM Weekend events including the MCM, MCM50K and MCM10K must be completed between October 1 and November 10 – the Marine Corps Birthday. All participants will receive via mail the corresponding participant shirt, commemorative patch, bib and finisher medal. Runners will also have access to an online event program, personalized finisher certificate and several digital engagement platforms.

The 47th MCM Weekend is scheduled for October 28 – 30, 2022.

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