I am trying to decide whether or not to use the early registration number a friend grabbed for me at the National Marathon Expo or not. I want to do a fall marathon and am deciding between MCM and Richmond. MCM is local/no travel involved, but I've heard horror stories about too many runners and water/gatorade shortages. Your thoughts/experiences? I am a very slow runner and will certainly be bringing up the rear.
I've done both races and plan to run MCM again this fall.
Both are well organized. MCM is crowded and you will always be surrounded by other runners. Richmond is smaller, with a homier feel to it.
Richmond winds thru neighborhoods so, like Baltimore, the residents come out and cheer for you and offer snacks. There are organized snacks at almost every water stop and a full-on snack zone near mile 17 or 18.
DC is DC, with all it's sights. Richmond is more bucolic and you run along the James River. Hotels are not easy to get for Richmond, so book early.
After the finish of MCM, it is a mob scene. It is still a short hike back to the Metro or your car. the finish line at Richmond is less of a mob scene. Good food here again too.
Both are good races, it just depends what you are looking for.
I ran MCM as my first marathon and really enjoyed it... it was nice to have other runners around (maybe because I am slow and random conversations helped pass the time)... it is an absolutely beautiful run (even if the scenery is familiar... something about stringing it all together for 26.2 miles). I had no problem with any of the water/food stops and fan support was pretty good for most of the course... I am a definite fan of the 'People's Marathon'... debating about a fall race myself... Richmond and Philly are on the list, but I am doing the Goofy at Disney and have some late triathlons so I may have to pass... good luck with your decision.
Thanks for the advice. I registered for MCM. Now my only worry is beating the bridge cutoff!
Congrats... you'll do great!! =)