Around the time of the 2015 Marine Corps Marathon, the 40th running of it, I connected with a high school friend and we ended up talking running. We both discovered we love running half marathons, but enjoy the challenge of training for and running a full.
My friend wanted to do one more marathon before turning her focus exclusively to half marathons and shorter distances. We decided to enter the lottery for the 2016 Marine Corps Marathon and cross our fingers that we’d both get selected.
A few months went by and I got notice that the lottery would open in late March. I messaged my friend again to see if she was still interested. She was so off we went to enter the lottery.
The lottery registration for the MCM is open for an entire week. It doesn’t matter when you enter as selection is entirely random. The lottery closed March 30 and notifications started going out at 6 am EST on March 31.
Two years ago when I got into the MCM for the first time, I didn’t find out until after lunch. This year thanks to settings on my credit card, I received notice of a charge at 9 am. Despite not having the email yet in my inbox saying I’d gotten in to the MCM, I knew I’d been selected thanks to the registration fee being withdrawn. It was another hour or two until I got my official email.
I was thrilled and now was just waiting to hear if my friend also had good news. Later yesterday morning I got a message from her saying she got in and was praying I did too. Success! We both got selected.
I’ve been lucky with the lottery both times I’ve entered. Not just because I was selected, but also because both times I was entering with the hopes other friends would also get in. In 2015, it was two local running friends that also entered. We all got in!
A lot of people don’t like to run races more than once, especially marathons. There’s a big mental factor that plays into races and sometimes knowing the course and what’s coming next can be a negative. While there are a few races I probably won’t do again, I knew after running MCM the first time that I would be back, but I wanted to wait at least a year before trying again so that things weren’t so fresh in my mind.
The MCM is an outstanding race and is run very well. The spectator support throughout is fantastic. The course itself has its challenges, but also offers the beauty of our nation’s capital. There is plenty to see to keep your mind busy throughout the race. Overall it’s just an amazing race.
I’m excited for some changes this year with MCM, including moving the expo to the Gaylord National Harbor and Convention Center. While I loved the history behind the previous location, the race had simply outgrown it. I have only driven by the convention center so I’m excited to explore it when visiting the expo.
My friend and I briefly discussed time goals. We’re hoping to aim for between 4 and 4:10 in order to secure PRs for both of us. We’ll see! Training during the hot summer months will be challenging, but hopefully will pay dividends come race day. Regardless of what our times are that day, the ultimate goal will always be to:
While I’m really excited and looking forward to October, I must keep in mind that I have 7 months and several races in between. Training continues to go well for the Shipyard Maine Coast 39.3 challenge I’m doing in May. I’ll be tackling my two 20-milers in the coming weeks and am hoping they go well. I’m pleased with my pace on most runs and doing interval training once a week on the treadmill. I’ve also been offered the opportunity to borrow my friend’s dog, Remy, some morning to do some interval training with her. Remy loves to run!
Right now the goal is to stay healthy, continue to improve my fitness and stick to training. The weather has been all over the place and the wind has been quite heavy many days, but you never know what you’re going to get on race day so you might as well prepare yourself for all possible options.
So now with all the excitement behind me, it’s back to the grind for now.
What are you training for? Have you ever run MCM?