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Apps, parking and more: Tips for Marine Corps Marathon

Tens of thousands participated in the Marine Corps Marathon in 2015. (WTOP/Dennis Foley)

WASHINGTON — For the 41st annual Marine Corps Marathon weekend, organizers have a few last-minute tips for participants and spectators:

Sign up for the app

The MCM App for is free and downloadable to your Android or iPhone. Organizers will use it to send real-time notifications to runners, if necessary. It provides course locations, maps, a schedule of events, Metro station locations and advice for getting from place to place.

“It’s a really user-friendly thing for families to make sure they have,” Marine Corps Marathon spokesman Tami Faram said.

Create a travel plan

Runners should plan to arrive an hour or two early. “We want to make sure that everyone has enough time to get to the start line,” Faram said. “Just like you’re strategizing how you’re going to make it to the finish, we want to make sure you’re strategizing how you’re going to make it to the MCM.”

Find shuttle bus, parking garage and drop off locations here.

Kiss and run

MCM and MCM 10K runners who want to walk to the start lines can be dropped off at the corner of Army-Navy Drive and Fern Street in Pentagon City and go through the Pentagon North parking lot.

Track a runner

With “Track A Runner,” you can get updates on a runner’s progress every five kilometers during the marathon and notification of their finish.

To receive information via text message, email, Twitter or Facebook alerts go to the Marine Corps Marathon website and scroll down to “Messaging Tracking Signup.”

You need to sign up before Saturday evening.

Have fun

Friday and Saturday, the free Health & Fitness Expo at Gaylord National Harbor and Convention Center is open to the public. It will feature more than 200 exhibitors and vendors.

“We’ve got the pep rally there; we’ve also got runners’ conferences where you can meet some of the experts and hear from Olympians Billy Mills and Jeff Galloway,” Faram said.

On race day, the Family Festival, in Crystal City, Virginia, is on Crystal Run Drive at 18th Street from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“There’s face painting and balloons and everything for the kids, and you can cheer your runner as they’re passing by,” Faram said.

Free parking is available in the parking garage at Crystal Drive and 23rd Street, or you can take Metro’s Blue or Yellow lines to the Crystal City Station.

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