As some of you may know, I was (up until recently) training for a Half Marathon. However, my sights have always been set on completing a Full Marathon. I don't have much hope of finishing one this year. But since I've never actually seen a marathon, I've considered finding one nearby so I can be a spectator.
Fortunately, the Wirefly National Marathon is being held in Washington, D.C., on Saturday, March 24, 2007. I'm just a short (90 minute) drive from D.C., so watching this marathon is definitely a possibility for me.
This year is a new course for the marathon. It's also a Boston qualifier, so it's likely to get more than a few elite runners. A quick perusal of last year's results, however, also shows some runners with a pace around 12- or 13-minute miles. So it's likely this marathon brings a mix of casual and competitive marathoners.
The Wirefly National Marathon is being produced by the Greater Washington Sports Alliance. It benefits numerous charities, including the Special Olympics of D.C., the YMCA, and the Joy of Sports Foundation. Sponsors of the marathon include The Washington Times, American Airlines and Michelob Ultra.
The marathon does require entrants to meet some qualifications, such as completing a marathon is 5 hours or less, or completing a 10K in 1:05 or less. There's a Half Marathon, too, for runners who aren't ready (or prefer not) to run the entire length of the full marathon.
This is a relatively new marathon--2007 will be its second year. However, the race appears to be well organized. Free parking is provided to runners and spectators.
If you're visiting from out of town, the race website provides lots of information about local hotels and transportation. The marathon course itself will lead the runners past an interesting array of D.C. sights, including the Potomac River, the Capital Building, the Washington Monument, and the Lincoln Memorial--with a start and finish at RFK Stadium. I'm fairly familiar with this part of D.C., and I'd say that it's probably going to mostly be a relatively flat course, although runners will encounter a few hills.
Anyone interested in signing up for the Wirefly National Marathon should visit the race website. If you're going to be in the D.C. area on March 24, consider being a spectator. The excitement of the race may motivate you to strap on your running shoes and train for a future event.