This October the 30,000 participants in the Marine Corps Marathon will experience a scenic and, more significant, flatter 26.2-mile course.
Yesterday the Marine Corps Marathon announced that for the first time since 2006, runners will experience a notable change in the course from miles six to nine. Instead of the 150-foot uphill climb and turn at Canal and Reservoir roads, they’ll pass through Rock Creek Park and Potomac Parkway to Beach Drive.
Marathon spokesperson Tami Faram says the previous turn caused a number of issues, including congestion, poor spectator viewing, and lack of space for a water station and security. “We basically made an operational change to the marathon course to alleviate a lot of the congestion that was occurring, as we had more and more participants each year,” she told Well+Being.
Not only will the new course section provide flatter roads for participants, but spectators will still be able to view the runners along M Street in Georgetown before they enter Rock Creek Park and Potomac Parkway.
Another change in the course that Faram says will prove more scenic is at mile 19, where runners will go down First Street, right in front of the US Capitol.
The only bad news? While runners will experience a flatter course overall, they’ll still have to save energy for the infamous uphill battle to the finish line at the Marine Corps War Memorial.
This year’s sold-out Marine Corps Marathon is Sunday, October 27. Thirty thousand participants from all 50 states and at least 50 countries are expected to run.