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Marine Corps Marathon lottery registration opens Thursday

Runners pass the US Capitol Building on Capitol Hill during the Marine Corps Marathon October 31, 2010 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON — The 41st Annual Marine Corps Marathon lottery registration opens at noon Thursday and runs through noon March 30. If you don’t make it in, though, you shouldn’t be discouraged.

“If you want to test yourself and run the Marine Corps Marathon, there’s numerous ways to get in,” said Marc Goldman, the marathon’s marketing and sponsorship manager. “For those who are shut out, we do have a limited number of entries available through charity partner organizations.”

The 53 charities associated with the marathon tend to focus on the military, children and health. People can run with a charity in return for raising awareness and money for their chosen cause.

Runners who don’t hit the lottery also can choose to buy VIP access for $1,500, which includes two runner registrations; VIP hospitality; a spot in the runners’ brunch and a pasta dinner that begins with a VIP reception; two nights at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center and luxury shuttle service to the start-line Runners Village, where a VIP Welcome Tent will have refreshments and private porta-potties.

The VIP shuttle to the starting line might seem especially attractive to runners, since this year’s race has a new headquarters hotel in Maryland.

Numbers of runners have complained about activities such as race registration and the Health and Fitness Expo being held at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center.

The National Harbor location near Oxon Hill, Maryland, has no access to Metrorail. The MCM has said it intends to run a vigorous relay of shuttles between events.

The 41st Marine Corps Marathon will be held Oct. 30. Weekend events include the MCM10K, the MCM Kids Run and the Marine Corps Marathon Finish Festival.

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