Charging, Trailing, and Trotting with the MARINES!! (Semper 5ive Review)

As noted, I have a love-hate relationship with running, but it’s just about time to start registering for some of my favorite races. Oddly enough, I love the Marine Corps race series because all of the courses include inclines/hills – which I still hate, but I sure do love the feeling of finishing … like a boss! 

Over the last two years I’ve charged Hospital Hill during the Semper 5ive, I’ve run over the hills and through the woods during the Quantico 12K, and I’ve trotted along the streets of Quantico during the Turkey Trot 10K.

Semper 5ive: Charging the Hill(s)

Registration for this beloved event opens on January 17th and it’s part of the Historic Half race weekend on May 20th, which includes two additional race opportunities (the Historic Half or the Devil Dog Double). I’ve run Semper 5ive twice, and I tell you, there must be some truth to the “suppression or substitution” notion of trying to erase unpleasant memories. Everyone talks about Hospital Hill and yeah it’s a beast, but there is another hill somewhere within the last mile, that everyone conveniently forgets to mention! What? You’re scoffing because you don’t like hills? Me either! But the crowd support throughout the race – especially going up those hills and along the home stretch is totally worth it (whispers “come on, you should totally run this with me“)!

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Semper 5ive Course Map

The last leg of the run is relatively flat and I seem to have trouble judging the remaining distance (let’s call it … oh shall we say … “Oh my gosh! When is this over?!?!” syndrome). So those last few hundred meters feels like an eternity, but I try not to die while kicking it in gear.

—- Woot! Woot! You Finished … Now What? —-

The Marines do a phenomenal job of herding the finishers through the corral at the end. Walk (or stumble) a few steps, one of them will give you the medal … (and they’ll make sure you keep walking) … then you’ll approach the refreshments … just hold open the bag someone has magically put in your hand and walk the line of tables (it’s really that easy). Then, you’ll see the area on the side for photo ops. Don’t neglect this opportunity to relish the moment and make memories … eh, um … but please be considerate, there’s a line forming behind you!

Semper 5ive

My Bling from 2016 (L) and 2017 (R)

After that, there’s only one direction for you to walk … you will walk towards the beer tent (straight ahead); the family rendezvous area (to the right), and the exit (towards your left). Once you get out of the fenced area you’ll be walking in the same direction as the free shuttles in the Central Park Wal-Mart parking lot (it’s really not too long of a walk … but the Marines want to make sure you get a good cool down … wink, wink).

Sounds awesome huh! That’s because it is. Let’s recap … five miles to run; four months until the race; three potential races to run that weekend; two hills to conquer; and one week until registration opens!!!

Okay, now, before you forget, save the dates: register on January 17th, run on May 20th!

So, maybe I’ll see ya there?

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