Friday we left on another journey to run marathon #2 of October. I was a little nervous for my husband because he had less time to recover than normal.

Friday

Friday we left around noon to head to D.C. We had planned to get there around 6:00 or so in time to meet up with Wes’ parents and eat dinner.

We didn’t really hit traffic until we got just outside of D.C.

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We were doing great and then it took us about 30-45 minutes to go the last 8 miles to get to the hotel. I guess that is to be expected on a Friday afternoon!

We stayed at the Hilton McLean in Tysons Corner. The hotel was beautiful and we loved the location.

Wes and I had stayed in Tysons Corner previously when just the two of us had come up for the marathon. We loved being outside of the city and there is a awesome mall just down the road which we went two several times.

 

Saturday

We woke up bright and early Saturday morning to get to the expo before it opened.

We arrived about 8:30 and waited until the doors opened at 9:00.

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Just like previously I let Wes do whatever he felt like and sat back and snapped a few pictures.

Wes picked up his BIB # and we walked around the expo. He bought a few items but I left empty handed.

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The expo at Marine Corps isn’t quite as big as Chicago and since we got there early we weren’t there more than 45 minutes or so.

We ate lunch and went back to the room to rest until dinner after the expo.

I wish I had taken more pictures at this point. I am not sure why I didn’t.  We ended up choosing to eat at the Olive Garden on Saturday night. After Chicago’s stomach issues Wes wanted to make sure he was eating something he knew would sit well with him.

I had the endless soup, salad, and breadsticks. It was pretty delicious.

Early wake up time called for an early bed time so we called it a night!

 

Sunday

We were up at 4:00 am on Sunday to make sure we made it to the metro and go on the first train that left at 5:00.

I am very thankful we did this because I couldn’t believe how many people were already lined up!

After you get off the metro you walk about 3/4 of a mile to the runners village.  We stopped for potty breaks and to rest a minute before walking another 0.5 miles to the start line or so.

One of the great things about the Marine Corps Marathon is that I can stand right by Wes at the start line.

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We got there just as the sun was coming up, but it was chilly!

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As I mentioned previously, Wes spends a good 20 minutes just trying to get himself focused before a race. I sit back, take pictures, and let him do his thing.

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They did an amazing air show right after the National Anthem where many men parachuted down onto the start line. Several of them carried HUGE American flags. It was really beautiful!

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After we had watched the opening “ceremonies” it was time to get to the start corral.

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The corrals at this marathon are by time. You line up the corral that is closest to your estimated finishing time. Wes was in the very first corral so we had to push our way through the crowds for him to get in.

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I snapped a really quick picture of us before Wes started stripping off the layers and getting into his corral. I always get so nervous at this point.

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The first group to go are the hand cyclists.  They start about 5-10 minutes before the runners.

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Once they were off Wes started getting ready and lining up in the corral. Everyone knows the importance of Body Glide! 🙂

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He moved up and ended up being right at the start. I finally was able to find a close enough spot to see him begin.

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I call this is “focus” face. I could tell he was trying to mentally get ready for what was to come.

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Minutes later he set his watch and they were off! I forgot to get a picture of him ACTUALLY starting because I was too busy cheering.

We left the start line and walked across the bridge to around the 10-11 mile marker. I was really surprised how soon after we got there Wes showed up.

Due to where I was standing I wasn’t able to get a picture of him running, but I did get a picture from far away.

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The course changed this year and if you ask Wes he will tell you it was MUCH hillier than he remembered.

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We left the 10 mile marker and started to make our way to the finish line. It is a pretty good walk so we wanted to make sure we gave ourselves enough time.

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I was able to snap a few pretty pictures along the way though!

It was a really good thing we gave ourselves enough time, because as we started to walk to the finish line we were informed we would not be let in with our backpacks. No purses, back packs, or bags of any kind were allowed near the finish.  The marines informed us that we would need to find a clear plastic bag to empty everything into to get in.

I understood the security, I just wish this had been posted on their website ahead of time so that I would have brought Wes’ bag from the expo instead of his back pack.  Since I get to be at the start line with him I lugged around all of his layers and clothes throughout the day.

We took a deep breath and tried to come up with a game plan. Finally we found a 10K runner walking by with a huge clear plastic bag. We kindly asked her if we could borrow it and she said yes. Whoever you are – THANK YOU SO MUCH! I probably thanked her a thousand times because I didn’t want to miss seeing Wes finish!

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We got to the finish line just in time. The marines were lining up to welcome in the runners!

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The men’s winner came in around 2:12 and some change. There was no one around him and the second place male didn’t come in until after 2:20!

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I waited a bit longer and then saw Wes coming up the hill to the finish! I was so excited.

Wes ended up finishing in 2:34:13 and 16th overall!! 

I know he was a bit disappointed because he still had his heart set on a PR, but this was his highest placement in the 6 years he has run this race and I was one extremely proud wife once again!

 

I went and found him after the race and we started making our way back to the hotel.

I wish I had taken a picture of the metro line at the finish it was CRAZY! My phone was dead at this point so no more pictures. It would have taken us probably 2 plus hours to get back to our hotel had we waited.

We took a chance and just started walking. We found a cab sitting on the edge of a road and asked him the best way to get back to Tyson’s Corner – his response: “Get in!”

I was shocked, we had already seen him turn several people away but since we were staying outside of D.C. it was so much easier for him to get there! Tyson’s Corner for the win AGAIN!

 

We spent most of the night relaxing, showering, and then went out for dinner at the mall.

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I snapped this picture behind my husband and his dad. They were dressed alike and they walked identically! I guess the “like father like son” saying IS true!

After dinner we walked around a did some shopping, though my leg didn’t allow me to last for too long before we had to call it a night.

 

Overall, for all marathon runners out there I highly suggest this race! It is on my race list wish list FOR SURE. The race is put together beautifully, the marines are amazing and really help to make it a spectacular race, and the support is amazing!

I read on their website they are starting a lottery system next year due to is popularity – so if you are the hunt for a race next year, keep this in mind! I promise you won’t regret it!

What is your FAVORITE race?

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