Sunday, October 28, 2012

Marine Corps Marathon from the Other Side

The Marine Corps Marathon was run today. This time last year, I had just run that thing (and was in no shape to blog about it). In the course of the experience of training, I was lucky enough to get mixed up with the Red Felt Running Club, the most non-snotty, funny, nice, positive, and attractive group of runners out there. Today, while more than seventy of those Red Felters were running around DC and Arlington, some of the rest of us formed the Mile 20 Shout Out Crew so we could, you know, stand around at Mile 20 and yell at people.

Have you ever yelled at marathoners? I highly recommend it. To convince you, I have distilled today's experiences into my list of:

Top Ten Favorite Things About Watching MCM 2012 with the Red Felt Running Club

  1. Seeing the race all the way through, from the first guy in a wheelchair all the way through the people who are going to barely beat the bridge, is pretty amazing. And a tip: the first runner has a big DC Metropolitan Police motorcycle escort. When they drive by, if you yell out MPD! GO MPD!, a motorcycle-riding guy might  honk his horn and flash his lights at you. Yep.
  2. Jim and Maria B. brought a couple of charming young people with them, who were in there cheering, singing, and handing out Gu like champs. These splendid diminutive cheerleaders did not even hit up the gummy bears that we had for runner energy supplies.
  3. A couple of guys ran the 26.2 miles in colorful tuxedos with iron-on "GAGNAM STYLE" on their backs. They happened to run by our group just as our portable stereo started playing that excellent tune. They turned around, danced the gagnam style dance for a minute with us, then moved on. Even my kids understood how awesome this moment was.
  4. Bloody Marys and mimosas while cheering: G-E-N-I-U-S.
  5. Running with the threat of a hurricane behind you makes for excellent signage.
  6. And speaking of signs, this one was also a crowd pleaser:
  7. Really, the runners loved this. 
  8. I learned that Marines enjoy gummy bears if offered, unless the most senior Marine in the crew says no thanks. Then they all say no thanks.
  9. We had a Park Police officer who was very patient with our group (particularly in reference to item 4, above). And one of the MPD officers helped us out when we wanted to go home post race by taking our leftover Swedish fish off our hands.
  10. It was wonderful to get the chance to meet so many of the Red Felt people. They came in from Florida, New York, North Carolina, Boston, Fredricksburg, and way the heck down south in Virginia. And that was just to cheer! And then they had to clear out before that dumb Frankenstorm (though MCM-ers Jeremy and Handan offered a place to stay if anyone got stuck -- see, these people are cool)!
  11. All of the Red Felters are even funnier, more inspiring, and better looking in person.
Here's an extra . . . the mini horse was set up right next to us and we got to visit after the race.

Go, mini horse!


  1. I'm smiling ear to ear because I'm so happy to be a part of a worldwide network of runners who run, support, and care. If we can't run, we find ways to encourage. NOBODY has a support crew as good as the RFRC!

  2. Eric, today was my first chance to meet a lot of these people, and they are even more amazing than they are online. A wonderful group!

  3. Thank you for supporting us!! You all rocked!

  4. This was the highlight of my race (except for finishing LOL)!! Mile 20 ROCKS!!