Is It Worth It?

Is It Worth It?
Is It Worth It?

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Race Reviews
Race Reviews

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Race Review: Marine Corps Marathon 10k

First, let me start by apologizing for our very clear absence on the blog. For the past few months I have been preparing for the GMAT exam, and now that it is over I am able to breathe some life back into this blog. When I logged on to our blog last night and on our social media and saw continued comments, likes, and activity, it made me so happy! As I said last night on Instagram:

So, where have we been? What have we been up to? Well, I recently traveled to Washington D.C. for the weekend to participate in the Marine Corps Marathon 10k. Last year my mom ran the Marine Corps Marathon (MCM). It was the first time Kyle and I observed a marathon and it truly was inspiring. If you ever feel you have lost faith in humanity, go watch a marathon. While Kyle and I have been casual runners since 2012, our running really kicked into gear after MCM. I committed to myself then that I would return for the MCM 10k in 2015, and that commitment made it's way onto my New Years Resolution Goals (I make goals, not resolutions).

My Mom and I near the starting line of the 2014 Marine Corps Marathon 

When you leave MCM, you are inspired and committed to achieving your running goals. Attending the health expo and watching thousands of runners will do that to you. Although over the next year I ran multiple 5ks and 10ks and my first half-marathon, I was still incredibly nervous for the 10k (6.2 miles). Suddenly I had all these fears. What if I have to walk it? What if I fall? What if my legs cramp? What if aliens land?! Yes, irrational fears. Truth is, I was prepared. I was ready.

So, with my running shoes, Clif shot blocks, protein powder, headphones, armband and endless other runner essentials, I boarded my 6 am flight to D.C., along with numerous other runners from my area.

Something I have always enjoyed about flying is for those few hours you are cut off from the hectic aspects of life and can truly take the time to just breathe and think.

Before landing in New York City for a short layover 

Once I landed in Washington D.C. some of my fears had subsided but soon my excitement built as I attended the health Expo (a.k.a. Christmas for Runners).

The expo can be overwhelming. There are so many booths and giveaways and products to try. The best part, of course, is picking up your race packet from the Marines and taking your photo in front of the course map. 

Key points about the Health Expo:
  1. I have yet to find a time where it is not crowded. 
  2. It's a buying frenzy! Everything seems like a great idea. New socks? YES! New protein bars? YES! New rhinestone charm for my shoelaces? YES...wait no! 
    • Something my mom always reminds me of a race: Now is not the time to change things and that means shoes and socks and products you have found useful up to this point. 
This is the finishers medal from the Little Rock, AR marathon! Yes, it's heavy and huge!

As you leave the expo, you're ready! Let's go run now! But, in my case, I still had another day to get through.

Fortunately, day two was the Marine Corps Marathon bRUNch. The bRUNch is a Saturday morning event that normally includes a 5k shake down run, however, that was absent from this year (but will be back next)! After you complete your 5k run you enjoy talks from invited speakers and a super awesome carb loaded breakfast!

The past two years Bart Yasso has spoke. He is the Chief Runner Officer from Runner's World and just all around a hilarious and passionate runner. If you need extra motivation for your run, make it a point to read or listen to anything of his! This year, following the bRUNch I was brave enough to not only ask for him to sign my bRUNch bib but for a photo. My mom and I love this! 

Bart Yasso with my mom and I. 

Once again, as you leave the bRUNch you're ready to run! Especially after hearing of Bart's world travels and running adventures. Alas, you have less than 24 hours before you should run. We spent the rest of the day walking around Washington D.C. and taking in some art.

Oh my gosh, it's the morning of the 10k! Quick hydrate, eat, get ready and let's go! ...And it's raining. Yes, it's drizzling. Could my posts now have a theme? Ha! 

There is so much energy as you get dressed and make your way to the start. Fortunately, Washington D.C. has a very nice metro system set up for runners and a short 0.7mi walk to the start. Last year, the way to the marathon was much more crowded than this years metro to the 10k.  

At this point, I am ready. I have so much energy and excitement moving through me that I am having a hard time keeping my legs calm. Let's go! Let's run! Let's...and there's the howitzer and just like that 50,000 runners unleash on Washington D.C. 

10k Course map

As I ran along the streets and found my pace, I was inspired by the crowds but even more moved by the Marines who stood at each mile marker and encouraged us along the way. Last year I promised myself, if I ever run this race, I will thank each Marine! 

This year, I did just that. As I passed each Marine from the start to mile markers to the finish I applauded them and (with the breath that I had), yelled THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE. It made me incredibly happy to truly thank them and have them respond:

Thank you for your support. 

My race felt smooth and controlled. I can always tell when I'm in for a good race because I feel this unifying connection between mind and body.

And just like that you are .20 miles away from the finish and you hear the roar of the crowds at the finish line. You make your way up the hill (yes, the end is on a hill!) and the cheer of the crowds and the Marines yelling "OORAH!" and "ALL THE WAY HOME" adds to your final big push.

You cross the finish line and realize, my god I did it! I accomplished it! Let's go again!!

There is such a huge feeling of accomplishment when you finish a race and what makes the Marine Corps Marathon and 10k even more special is that a Marine awards you your medal.

Woo! Just finished the MCM 10k in the rain, and here I am
with the Marine who awarded me my finishers medal. 

It is truly an honor to run the Marine Corps Marathon 10k. 

Proudly wearing my Finishers Jacket and making my way to FOOOOOD!!!
Very packed finish line!

Aside from the accomplished feeling the next best thing after finishing a race is the food! When you finish you get a Gatorade and bananas and a box of goodies:

The finisher's village is an awesome area filled with free food and samples. It's a victory party for what you have just accomplished. 

My Mom and I on our way to Finisher's Village feeling really awesome!


  1. Awesome experience, heh :)? I run half marathon last month in Amsterdam. 21K!!! :)

    1. It was an absolutely incredible experience! I bet the half marathon in Amsterdam was just beautiful!!