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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Marine Corps Marathon Might Change Course

Construction on the Rock Creek Parkway will force runners in this year’s Marine Corps Marathon onto a new course through Northwest Washington.

Instead of racing along parkway, as they have in the past, the 30,000 marathoners in the Oct. 28 event will follow Foxhall Road, MacArthur Boulevard, Reservoir Road and Canal Road around Georgetown Reservoir and “on a scenic tour of the Georgetown Canal,” organizers said Tuesday.

It will also put runners at the 14th Street Bridge at mile 19, one mile earlier than previous years.

“These course changes are sure to give participants a fresh and exciting experience at the MCM,” Rick Nealis, race director, said in a statement.

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Alma Gates, a Ward 3 advisory neighborhood commissioner who lives a block off MacArthur, said her ANC was briefed and generally approved of the new course.

“Our concern, as it is with all races, is that some areas will be landlocked when the race is under way,” Gates said. “So our concern is that people living within that area are really notified by the race coordinators that this is gong to happen and they need to plan accordingly.”

Nancy Wood, a resident of Elliott Place smack between MacArthur and Canal, feared the day would be “pretty rough.”

But better to find out now, she said, than in October.

“I haven’t heard and I don’t know if anybody else has around here, either,” Wood said.

The race, as usual, starts in Arlington and makes its way to the George Washington Memorial Parkway before crossing into the District.

Along the way, and before ending at the Marine Corps War Memorial, runners will cruise through the National Mall, past the U.S. Capitol and by Hains Point, home to “The Awakening.”

Roughly 100,000 spectators usually line the course of the so-called “People’s Marathon,” the largest marathon in the world not to offer prize money.


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