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2021 Marine Corps Marathon races will be held in person

Lace up those running shoes, because the Marine Corps Marathon is returning live and in-person.

The event’s races, hosted annually in D.C. and Arlington, will be held in-person from Oct. 29 to Oct. 31 after it ran as a virtual-only event last year.

Race Director Rick Nealis told WTOP that despite not holding a physical marathon in over a year, organizers have “adapted” in hosting smaller events with similar layouts. With that experience along with his military logistics background, Nealis said the event will go off without a problem while working together with local officials to ensure everyone’s safety.

“You almost have to pinch yourself when you realize it will be two years since we’ve had that many runners come across the finish line, as we’ve transitioned through a real tough year in 2020,” said Neails.

Health and safety measures will be in place adhering to local guidelines, including a reduction in the size of the field and dividing runners into scaled and socially-distanced start times. Nealis said he expects the race to have two-thirds of its usual field of runners, about 15,000 participants, because of restrictions.

The races usually generate about $100 million for the region. While that may not happen this time, they will bring some necessary aid to local businesses impacted by the pandemic.

“The fact that it’s Halloween just makes it even kind of more magical that it’s a treat,” said Nealis. “There’s no trick in what we’re doing. This is all about treats.”

Those who are currently registered for a virtual run or deferred from the 2020 events will have the first opportunity to switch to the live event. All three races have a virtual option. They can be run from Oct. 1 to Nov. 11.

Access to the virtual event is closed at this time. General entries will be made available to the public at noon on Wednesday, May 26.

Despite the allure of running in the event, Nealis said there may be “little trepidation” from some runners about coming back. For those who do participate this year, organizers hope the races run as smoothly and safely as possible.

(05/19/2021) Views: 1,145 ⚡AMP
by Abigail Constantino
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Marine Corps Marathon

Marine Corps Marathon

Recognized for impeccable organization on a scenic course managed by the US Marines in Arlington, VA and the nation's capital, the Marine Corps Marathon is one of the largest marathons in the US and the world. Known as 'the best marathon for beginners,' the MCM is largest marathon in the world that doesn't offer prize money, earning its nickname, “The...

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