One of the many things I was reminded of at Army Ten Miler is that what you wear is EXTREMELY important in long distance races. Again long distance is relative to the person but for me a long race is anything over 10 miles.

The temperature on Sunday just before the race was around 50 degrees.

I wore a hat, arm warmers, shorts and a sports bra.

When warming up I had on sweatpants over my shorts, a throw away shirt and a jacket. I kept on my throw away shirt till right before the race took off.

If you see me at a race – say hi! I love putting faces to names!

In the first 1/2 mile I was already regretting wearing the hat. If it had not been one of my favorite hats that I’ve had since Hood To Coast with nuun in 2011 I would have just tossed it and not worried about the $20 cost.

Somewhere around the 2nd mile I was wishing I wasn’t wearing arm warmers either. I really like wearing arm warmers because they make me feel fast. I believe that when you feel fast you run faster [again a relative term to the individual].

They were a Saucony promo item so they were never for sale – if I tossed them – I wouldn’t be able to replace them. So I wore them and my temperature and time suffered.

SarahRuth asked if I had any last minute Marine Corps Marathon tips. Below are some older posts I’ve done on Marine Corps Marathon. You can also search for posts tagged with the Marine Corps Marathon in the side bar on Mile Posts.

At this point I think one of the most important things to get right on race day is what you wear……

Marine Corps Marathon is a hard marathon to dress for in my opinion. You never know what DC will give you on that October day.

One thing I can be almost sure of is that it is going to be SUNNY at some point during that race.

  • Wear sunscreen. Most of us run a marathon in 3+ hours – that is a long time. The possibility of getting burnt is high and you don’t want your body to be sending blood to your skin to start repairing damage when you need that blood to be fueling your muscles etc.
  • If you are used to wearing sunglasses during training runs – wear them. Marine Corps can get sunny even on gloomy days.
  • If you are used to wearing a baseball type hat during training runs – wear one at this race. The brim on the hat will help when you are crossing over bridges. The wind tends to pick up at times and there can be sand, dust, and gravel that whips up into your eyes. It helps if you can tuck your head down and just power through those tough moments.
  • If the temperature is 45 degrees or above wear less than you want to wear – overdressing can be disastrous during a marathon. If you sweat too much your performance can suffer from slight dehydration but even worse if you sweat too much and then the wind picks up you are going to feel chilled to the bone by your own sweat. I’m always worried about being cold but the less I wear during a race the warmer I actually end up feeling because I am not wearing wet, sweaty clothes.


I keep joking that I plan on running naked for my marathon. Truth is that naked to me is a sports bra and shorts so that is what I will be wearing come race day along with my Saucony A5 racing flats, tons of body glide, my Molly Huddle Dream Big hat and some throw away gear [old clothes I no longer want] at the start.

Older posts on Marine Corps Marathon:


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  1. Thanks for all of this advice & reminders about the DC conditions. I’ll be wearing my Team Fisher House shirt, just like the one pictured above! Plus the matching hat, a skirt, compression socks, and neon bright Brooks that even look fast when they’re standing still (illusion is powerful).

  2. If it’s in the 40s that morning and anyone is worried about being cold, I have to say a pair of simple light-weight knit gloves goes a long way. I can be comfortable in the 40s with just shorts and a tshirt if I wear gloves, and they are easy to take off if I get hot. Plus they cost like a dollar so discarding them halfway through the race is totally an option!

  3. Thank you so much for this post! I really appreciate all your advice and the links to your past posts – invaluable!!

  4. Just looked at the weather for MCM and looks like rain. What would you wear for that?

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