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Race registration starts in two weeks

With the region enjoying its emergence from days in the deep freeze, spring and the seventh annual Marine Corps Historic Half aren’t far away.

Registration for the half-marathon, the accompanying Semper Fred 5K and the second running of the Historic 10K begin in two weeks.

Online registration begins at 3 p.m. on Feb. 19 for all three races, which will be run the morning of May 18.

The half-marathon and 5K races will start at their same spots this year—the half-marathon near the Fredericksburg Expo and Conference Center and the 5K near the intersection of U.S. 1 and Fall Hill Avenue.

The 10K’s starting point is moving, said Tami Faram, Marine Corps Marathon spokeswoman. Runners will begin at the intersection of Fall Hill Avenue and Bunker Hill Street. They will then travel on Fall Hill toward the Quarles site, turn onto Prince Edward Street and pick up the Historic Half route to the finish line.

Another change for this year is that there won’t be shuttles to carry 5K and 10K runners to their starting lines, Faram said. Instead, those runners will be shuttled back to those areas from the Expo Center in Celebrate Virginia after completing their races.

Like last year, every runner will get to experience the infamous climb of Hospital Hill.

The three races combined could put as many as 10,000 runners on Fredericksburg streets on May 18.

Registration for the 13.1-mile race is limited to 8,000 runners and the shorter races to 1,000 each.

As in the past, the weekend will include the Healthy Lifestyle Expo at the Expo Center. It is open to all and operates from 4 to 8 p.m. on May 16 and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on May 17.

Two local businesses are offering help with training regimens for local runners.

Mary Washington Healthcare Orthopaedic Institute is offering three monthly lectures starting on Thursday. The lectures are timed to help people prepare for an April 12 5K race at Stafford Hospital, but the timing is perfect for people training for the Historic Half events, as well.

The lectures run from 6 to 7 p.m. and are free but require registration at 540/741-1404.

VA Runner in Central Park is again offering training runs and tips to aid runners in the Historic Half races, said general manager Greg Greven.

That preparation will include strategies for tackling Hospital Hill, the steep part of the course that travels behind Mary Washington Hospital.

The fun runs help educate people about running, provide a way to connect local runners and give people a chance to check out products, as most of the runs have a partner such as Asics, Adidas, Mizuno, New Balance, Saucony and PowerBar, Greven said.


Feb. 19 also marks the start of registration for the Marine Corps 17.75K, an 11.03-mile race in Prince William County that commemorates the year of the Corps’ founding.

Completion of that race earns participants age 14 and older a guaranteed spot in the full Marine Corps Marathon held in October as long as they go online using their “guaranteed access” card by midnight on April 14, Faram said.

The 17.75K takes place on the paths and roads of Prince William Forest Park north of the Quantico Marine Corps Base.

Entry is limited to 1,775 runners this year, Faram said.

The Marine Corps Marathon, with its 39th running this year, is the third-largest marathon in the United States, and is limited to 30,000 participants.

A limited number of spaces are reserved for active duty and reservists from all branches of the military, Faram said. Registration for those spots begins at 3 p.m. on Feb. 19 and continues until those spots are filled.

This year, general registration for the full marathon begins at noon on Feb. 23 and ends at midnight on March 15.

Once general registration closes, people who registered through that process will be part of an electronic lottery to fill the race slots, Faram said.

The new process resulted from problems last year when a flood of people tried to get online to register.

Registration was first-come, first-served last year and all spots were filled within 2 hours and 27 minutes, Faram said. That’s what prompted marathon officials to hire Richmond-based Race IT to handle online registration.

“We wanted to make this a smooth process, and streamlined,” Faram said.

Pamela Gould: 540/735-1972 


Mary Washington Healthcare Orthopaedic Institute is offering training tips for people preparing for upcoming races, and VA Runner is offering training runs and tips over the coming weeks.

Three monthly lectures on running will be at 6 this Thursday, March 13 and April 8 in MWH’s Fick Conference Center in the Moss Free Clinic building, 1301 Sam Perry Blvd., in Fredericksburg. The lectures are free but require registration. Call 540/741-1404.

VA Runner at 1993 Carl D. Silver Parkway in Central Park, has organized 10 fun runs including three focused on Hospital Hill. All depart from the store and include tips on things such as nutrition and technique. Here’s the schedule.

Saturday, 8 a.m., 4–6 miles

Feb. 26, 5:30 p.m., 3–6 miles

March 5, 5:30 p.m., 3–5 miles including Hospital Hill

March 19, 5:30 p.m., 4–6 miles

March 26, 5:30 p.m., 3–5 mile tempo run

April 9, 5:30 p.m., 4–6 miles including Hospital Hill

April 19, 7:30 a.m., 8–12 miles including Hospital Hill

May 7, 5:30 p.m., 3–5 mile fartlek run (variations in pace)

May 17, 7:30 a.m., 2–4 miles

For a detailed plan on preparing for a half-marathon and additional training tips, go to “events” at

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