My first marathon!

I just got back from the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington D.C. this weekend and I am exhausted! My feet hurt, my legs are sore... and I was just spectating! Yes yes, it's true, I didn't actually run in the marathon but being a spectator is hard work!

Here are helpful tips that I wish I had known before embarking on the role as Marathon spectator:

Running 26.2 miles is hard enough, so we at DCist decided to lend our
extensive experience as both runners and spectators to help you optimize your marathon experience. Why? Because we love you. And we hate blisters.

  • Muppets on TV? Creepy. Kermit running a marathon? Amazing.
  • The Crystal City Street Fair is a favorite spot for spectators, but spectators should try to hop around to cheer on their friends and family. Some of the loneliest segments on the course are Haines Point and the 14th Street bridge, which one DCist marathoner likened to Dante’s 10th circle of hell, so place yourself strategically.
  • Chafing is no joke—stock up on the Body Glide or Vaseline.
  • Some spectators pass out cups and beer and shots of tequila along the course. Amusing in theory, disastrous in practice. There are several water and Powerade stations along the course, but also try to position friends with supplies of your favorite (nonalcoholic) beverage.
  • The best things for spectators to hand out are orange slices, hard candy, sports drink and gel packs. And bring signs – your friends will appreciate it more than you realize.
  • Screw Atkins and carbo load.
  • Out of the 26.2 mile race, the final 0.2 are arguably the most difficult. But don’t forget to smile for the camera.
The race starts at 8:15 a.m. on Sunday. Oh, and don't forget to set your clock back, because there’s no need to be prolong your pre-race anxiety (we know, we know…it’s not like you’re going to be able to sleep the night before anyway).

Click here for a map of the race

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