Marine Corps Marathon 2015: Route, Course Map, Times, Event Details

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistOctober 23, 2015

Runners start the Marine Corps Marathon, in Washington, Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012. More than 30,000 people participated in the marathon 2012. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
Jose Luis Magana/Associated Press

The 2015 Marine Corps Marathon is set for Sunday in and around the nation's capital. It's the 40th edition of the race, also known as the "People's Marathon," which allows participants to check out several landmarks in the area as they navigate the 26.2-mile course.

Jeff Scuffins set the course record for the event in 1987 at two hours, 14 minutes and one second. Nobody has even come within a minute of that time. Olga Markova is the record-holder on the women's side at two hours and 37 minutes, a time posted in 1990.

Let's check out all of the important information for the milestone event. That's followed by a preview of what to expect leading up to and during the popular race.

Race Details

Where: Washington, D.C. and Arlington, Virginia 

Date: Sunday, Oct. 25

Times: 7:45 a.m. ET (wheelchair and hand cycle); 7:55 a.m. ET (runners)

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Route: Course Map

Event Preview

Although the race kicks off early Sunday morning, the action actually begins two days earlier. The event's official site is teasing a "significant announcement" regarding the future of the race during a press conference at the National Press Club at 1:30 p.m. ET Friday afternoon.

That's followed a short time later by a "Celebration Concert" at the Woodrow Wilson Plaza to celebrate the event's 40th anniversary. That starts at 3 p.m. ET.

On Saturday, Bart Yasso of Runner's World is having a light warm-up run with fellow participants at another key piece of the D.C. experience, the National Mall:

Bart Yasso @BartYasso

Saturday morning Marine Corps Marathon shakeout run on The National Mall at 8am meet up at the Smithsonian Metro Station mall side.

Sunday is race day. All competitors will take off from the start line, which is located between Arlington National Cemetery and the Pentagon, shortly before 8 a.m. ET.

Chuck Bell of NBC Washington provided Sunday's forecast:

Chuck Bell @ChuckBell4

Forecast for @Marine_Marathon Sunday. Cloudy and mild. 20% rain chance. 53 at start, 65 by 2pm. #runwiththemarines ! https://t.co/2o9mGRF3LO

The course begins with an uphill ascent spread over the first couple of miles. That forces competitors to set a more moderate pace at a time when the adrenaline is really pumping in order to save enough energy for the rest of the race.

That's followed by a downhill portion before the course flattens out and the scenery really begins to take over. A journey by the Potomac River leads into a chance to see the Jefferson Memorial, Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial and numerous other key landmarks.

For many competitors, those who aren't necessarily racing for the win, that opportunity to run in such an atmosphere is the main selling point of the event.

All told, the Marine Corps Marathon represents a chance to celebrate one of the branches of the military while also getting a unique look at the nation's capital. So it's no surprise the event is still going strong after four decades in existence.

And given the race's popularity, there's no end in sight.

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