MCM 10k Race Recap 2014

Hello my friends! As you know, Matt and I ran the MCM 10k – the lesser known sibling to the iconic Marine Corps Marathon – on Sunday morning.


After I flubbed the start time for the Clarendon Day 10k last month and accidentally ran the 5k instead, I was chatting with Heather on gchat. “You know,” she said, “You could sign up for the MCM 10k, and that way we could get up together on race morning!” Hmm, good idea! I’d heard it was a fun 10k, and it started at the same time (just in a different location) as the marathon, which meant our guest wouldn’t get up in the dark by herself to go run. Deal! I got Matt on board, too, and it was set – MCM 10k or bust!

On race morning, we were all up nice and early, as per usual for DC races – arrive excessively early or else you’ll find yourself waiting in the porta potty line when the gun goes off. Matt and I parted ways with Heather at Rosslyn metro and headed on down to the national mall, where the 10k started. We were there an hour before the race started – plenty of time.

MCM 10k

It was an absolutely beautiful morning to run – clear and cold!


I was glad we arrived early – there was a big security checkpoint line before you could enter the starting area. With that done, next up was these porta potties with a view.


We had no problem hitting the bathrooms and dropping off our bag at bag check, and lined up at the start with 15 minutes to spare.


Brrrr – shedding my jacket for the bag check was a sad moment. It was chilly out there, but I knew I’d be glad I was in a tank top once the race started. (I was.)


A few minutes later, and we were off!

MCM 10k

As usual, it was pretty crowded at the start, but we were able to settle in to a decent pace after about half a mile.

MCM 10k

I completely forgot to wear my GPS watch (fail), so Matt used his phone to track our pace. I wanted to PR this race, which meant we would need to finish in under 48:54 (7:53 min/mile). When our first mile came in around 8:15 and felt hard, I figured a PR might not happen, but that I’d push as hard as I could and see where it landed us.


The crowd support was pretty minimal since I assume most people were waiting to cheer for the marathoners later on (totally understood!), but I loved this drum band they had out there!


Mile 2! Heading onto the 14th street bridge, which is part of the full marathon course and apparently REALLY challenging since it’s long, hilly, and at their miles 20-22.


Made it! Look at that beautiful blue sky. The leaves are all starting to change now, too – I love it!


One cool thing about this course is that around mile 5 we actually ran by the full marathon starting line once everyone had already left!


It was crazy to see the starting area of a race after everyone had left – look at all those throwaway clothes! Volunteers were there loading all of it onto trucks so it could be donated.


On we went! I knew by this point I wasn’t going to be able to PR but I just did my best to keep up a good clip (and keep up with Matt – he’s so fast from soccer)!


Hello, mile 6!


The finish line of the MCM 10k is the same as the full marathon (we were just there way earlier, obviously), which was cool. It also meant we got to experience the super steep hill you finish on – rough – can’t imagine doing this at mile 26!


In the finisher’s chute! Thank you to those who were already out cheering. :)


Matt was a tiny bit ahead but slowed enough that we could do the final sprint together. :) Someday (maybe next year…?) I’ll be back for you, MCM finish line – but after running 26.2 miles!


Cute medals!


Awkwardly shaded finish photo:


That’s better. :)


Our official finish time was 51:17, for an average pace of 8:15 minute miles. Not a new PR, but still an awesome pace! I’m happy my speed is starting to return. :)


Overall, I give this race two thumbs up! Pretty course and it was extremely well organized – especially the UPS bag check. I loved that they gave you plastic bags right after the race to hold your water/food samples, that they had compost bins for the banana peels, and that there was free watermelon. :)


Matt and I headed home after the race and I quickly showered and headed back to the finish line to cheer on Sokphal and Heather! They were both looking so strong running up that last hill that they didn’t see me – and sped by so quickly I couldn’t get a picture! Proud of them. They didn’t get their A goals but they both ran strong, smart races.


Have a great day, my friends!

Anyone else race over the weekend? How did it go?


  1. 1

    Race day was perfect on Sunday! I made the last minute decision to switch to a tank top for the marathon and was so glad I did. I didn’t realize that the bridge was the 10k route, too, but it was definitely a mentally and physically exhausting stretch to run that leg during the later miles of the race. But after that, the hill at the finish line felt like nothing!

  2. 3

    I didn’t know they had a 10k! What a great idea for you guys to run that one!

  3. 4

    Love this 10K! It was awesome to have some company on the way down to our races at o’dark’thirty. You two look good with that bling. Congrats, gal! The 26.2 version is ready for ya ;)

  4. 5

    Looks like a fun race! That’s really cool that the finish line was the same for both races so you were able to experience that. I hope to do at least the 10k one day since I’ve heard so much about how awesome it is!

  5. 6

    Fun race recap! That is really cool you both finished at the same time. :-)

  6. 7

    Looks like a great race! We were just in DC last weekend visiting friends and the weather was so gorgeous, definitely a good time of year for running!

  7. 8

    I remembered you once saying you used your husband’s socks as arm warmers, so I borrowed that idea for my half a few weeks ago and it was a life saver! I kept them on almost the entire race.

  8. 10

    Great time!!! Looks like a beautiful morning for a run! So great that it’s something you guys can do together! The happy running couple! :)

  9. 11

    Gaaaah! I powered up that hill (after walking a bit the last 4 miles) and was trying to see if I recognized any faces! There were SO many people that last stretched – loved it! Bummed I didn’t see you :( , BUT I really think you should run MCM next year! ;) I think it’s high time you’re on the OTHER side.

  10. 12

    Congrats on finishing the race! I loved seeing watermelon as a giveaway. So common at the finish line are processed granola bars and sugar-filled cereal, with the old staple, the banana. I would have taken two watermelons :-)

  11. 13

    Glad to know the 10k is as awesome as the full 26.2. Your pictures make my heart hurt. After successfully running MCM last year, I had to drop out at mile 11 this year with a knee injury. Big sad face, but I know it was the right call. But, I’ll be back another year I’m sure.
    Congrats on a good race! That last hill is a beast.

  12. 16

    Congrats, Anne! The Marines really know how to put on a good race! I’m glad this was my first full marathon! It went pretty well (4:20:04) , I had a lot of fun, the crowd support was amazing, and the Marines are truly wonderful. Oorah!

  13. 18

    Omg they make you run up to the bell tower at the end?? I HATE that hill!! And I have been thinking more about the MCM next year…maybe we should really do it!

  14. 20

    Yay! congrats!! so funny you finished at the same time!!

  15. 22

    Congrats on a great finish time! Handing out watermelon and a bag are nice race perks. I’d like to run the MCM Marathon someday.

  16. 23

    I did the MCM 10K, too. I barely got to the start line before they closed it – I had thought about how long the portapotty line would be, but hadn’t really considered that AND the security line. However, skipping the portapotty was NOT an option. So much for warming up, too. At least you’re right that it was a beautiful day and a good race.

  17. 24

    Looks like a great day! Congrats on your time.

  18. 25

    Sounds like a great race – well done!

  19. 26

    Congrats! I ran MCM a few years ago and that bridge still haunts me! At least there are smiling marines waiting for you at the end :)

  20. 27

    Congrats on your time and what a perfect day to race!

  21. 28
    Jenny Paxton says

    I did the 10K last year and the MCM with a friend this year for my first full. You and Chelsea should totally do it next year! You’ll do great and love it. Such a well done race. Taking a picture in front of the Iwo Jima after 26.2 makes that hill (almost) worth it ;)

    • 29

      Congrats on your first full – so exciting! I wanted MCM to be my first full last year but we had something that weekend… Richmond was a great first one, though… less hilly I think than MCM too. :)

      • 30
        Jenny Paxton says

        Reading your Richmond training and race recaps was a huge motivator for me to sign up for my first! I’ve heard it’s a great race and I would agree on the hills :)

  22. 31

    I ran MCM this weekend, and I totally walked up that last hill. I managed to run up all the others, but seeing that final incline put me over the edge :) Not even the line of Marines could inspire me to run until I crested the hill. But aside from that evil segment of the course, I thoroughly enjoyed the run. What a fantastic route, amazing spectators, and gorgeous day for running!

  23. 33
    Roadrunner says

    Good to see your speed coming back, Anne. The track work is paying off! Well done!

  24. 34

    Congrats! But you are crazy to think it was chilly! It was a warm day to run ;) I did the full and was BAKING.

    • 35

      It was definitely baking by the time you guys finished! I was perfect in the tank and shorts once we started running – it was just cold standing around at the start line. :) Congrats on the full!

  25. 36

    Congrats on an awesome race! I’m running a 5K with my little sister on Saturday for her first organized race and seeing all of the support and encouragement on yours is getting me excited for her!

  26. 38

    It was a beautiful day! I finished the MCM marathon first marathon! Anne, I read a lot of your Richmond recap posts, marathon training advice, and suggested nutrition for runners on your blog. It helped greatly! Thank you for all your positive inspiration/advice from your blog. I can now say that I am a marathoner. :) Hope you run the MCM next year, it is definitely worth it!

  27. 40

    Nice recap, ran the 10k second year in a row, awesome distance. I ran the mcm marathon 25th my first and love the fact they now have the 10k. Although the race field is large, the race is so well organized and I love the fact that the 10k ends the same as the marathon. I only got back into running about a year ago, and my goal was to keep going so I met my goal of beating my last year’s time which for me was awesome. Only wish, I hadn’t worn long sleeves, I knew better but by the end was hot.

  28. 42

    Wasn’t that drum band awesome??? I really enjoyed hearing them (and all the other bands along the course) during the marathon. It was too warm at the start – 10 degrees warmer than I had been seeing on all forecasts leading up to Sunday. Woke up and saw 61 degrees and I was all NOOOOOO. LOL! I had a rough time with the marathon – it just wasn’t my day and I finished an hour and 10 minute slower than I had anticipated. But I finished!! I loved running through your city!

  29. 44

    Great job on the 10k! I did the full and it was SO MUCH FUN! Definitely a REALLY crowded race, but I was shocked at how fast it went by with the awesome crowd support. You should definitely do it next year :) I was hoping for a sub 4 hours, but ended up with 4:06…so now I’m thinking about doing Richmond next year after your good experience there! :)

  30. 46

    Congrats on a strong race! Doesn’t it feel good to get some speed back after months dedicated to longer, half and full marathon race?? I ran the full at MCM and we ran by that drum band at mile 19. It was probably around 11:30 AM when I ran by them, and they were still out there enthusiastically paying. I didn’t realize they had been out for so long!

    You should definitely run MCM someday if you get the chance. The hills in the early miles are tough, but it’s an awesome race.


  1. […] the race – I remember being really excited to see them handing out watermelon when I finished the MCM 10k back in […]

  2. […] ran the race with them last year, too (pictured below), and we ran it on our own in 2014. And in 2016 I ran the full Marine Corps Marathon with […]

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