2009 Marine Corp Marathon Trip (Last updated on 2011/05/29)

2009/10/23 Going to Washington D.C.

Going to Airport

Up at 6:00am still raining since the last night, took a shower, finished packing and left my apartment at 7:15am. Driving under rainy weather to the airport. I had a tough time joining to the main lanes on I-96 due to the traffic. An accident on I-275 near 6 miles caused a traffic back up for 2 miles. It made me worry that I may miss the flight, but the cars continue moving, and after passing the scene of the accident, the traffic flow was good and I arrived at parking nearby the airport around 8:15am. Got a ride to the terminal and checked in at the counter. It was not busy at all and but they told me that bunch of people came by between 6 and 8am.

To Chicago: AA4373 DTW(9:35am EDT) - ORD(8:50am CDT), A trouble begins...?

Passing the security, and I was at the gate by 8:45am. The boarding should be starting from 9:00am but there is no plane yet. It arrived at 9:25am and quickly disembarked the passengers. The boarding started from 9:35am, and departed around 9:50am under rain. However, the plane did not go far, and stopped on the pavement. The captain announced that the plane won't be departing any earlier than 10:20am. Oh, no... This situation resembles the trip a couple years ago... Just waiting, watching the rain drops outside the window. The plane started to move at 10:25am, and told that we are #6 for the turn. I watched each one of the plane in front of us taking off, and as you can expect, right before turning into the runway, the plane went opposite way. Pulled to the side and stopped. Oh, not again...

. AA4373 finally come to the gate at DTW

Stuck on the pavement Lined up for departure

Now I cannot get the connecting flight so I pulled out the phone, asked the customer service for rebooking the flight to Washington D.C.. They got me a backup plan which is 4:00pm flight and arrive to DCA at 6:00pm. At least I can get there sometimes today, good enough. The plane was still for a while then finally moved again, positioning to the very end of the line. The captain also told us that if we don't take off in 30 minute, the plane will have to return to the gate for refuel. It's going to be a nightmare, come on, we got to go this time!

The plane finally took off at 11:30am, and ground disappeared from the sight due to low level cloud. The flight attendant was giving information about the connecting flights, there seems to be some folks going to Seoul and Tokyo. The plane approached from the east and landed at 11:00pm CDT. I won't make the connection...

Blue sky over the cloud cover Arriving to ORD (finally...)

To Washington D.C.: AA1934 ORD(10:30am CDT) - DCA(1:15pm EDT)

After getting off the plane, I called reservation center, being told that I can go with the one leaving around 11:45am (AA4372). So I walked up to the counter and got a ticket. Saw a guy looks like running the marathon by the gate, so we chat a bit. I still had a time and I think I am going to miss the lunch so I stopped by at nearby retailing place to get myself a sandwich. This plane also is delayed so the original boarding time of 11:15am is passed and finally started from 12:05pm. The plane will not be arriving at 2:40pm as originally scheduled. I took a seat and looked outside which is still raining. The plane took off at 12:45pm and flew to east toward Washington D.C. The passenger next to me is visiting Washington D.C. for his vacation. He used to be in the Navy and know a bit about Japan. I was taking nap for a couple of times, then woke up when the plane get closed to the D.C. Flying by CIA, realizing we are coming from north east, the plane passed by Rosslyn, and the Pentagon. We landed at 3:10pm with a bit hard. The captain joked sorry for the Navy landing... Arrived at the gate, now let's get moving!

CIA "the Campus" Rosslyn area, Holiday Inn stayed seen at lower right corner
Iwo Jima monument, the goal of the race Pentagon

Going to Hotel, Expo

After arriving to the airport, I picked up some postcards to my friends, and called a good friend of mine who live in the D.C. area but was away due to a trip. Walking toward the Metro station, I paid $10 for a fare card, and used it to go to Rosslyn station. There are some people looks like me. I walked up to the hotel and checked in around 4:00pm. The Holiday Inn I am staying gave me free breakfast during the stay, and a 20% discount coupon for a dinner. I also got a quite nice room, with a balcony with a view to north. I could see the bridge but not the capital area.

Washington D.C.'s Metro

Hmmm, I am at Executive Level, huh? The inside

A view from the hotel

After settling down, I left room at 4:20pm to the convention center where the marathon expo is held. Walked to the station, first took a Blue line train to L'Enfant Plaza, then switched to Yellow line to Mt. Vernon Square/7th Street. The exit to the convention center was within the property so the entrance was right in front of the Metro exit.

The expo is used to be held at an armory so this is a bit of different environment, no weapon check or anything security measurement. Inside of the I am not saying that the whole bad economy is affecting such event, but the atmosphere there is certainly less energetic than last time. It was quiet, and has less people. the merchandise they sell were not deeply discounted or have many choices. Oh, and less free goodies! What's the problem with them, eh?

Runners picking up their packet Nissan to provide vehicles this time?

After getting my packet, I bought a MCM jacket, since this could be my last MCM. After that, there aren't many things to look at. I bought some running socks, and Gu gels. I guess I can go now. Took a train back to Rosslyn station, dropped off my stuffs at the hotel room. Decided to go get some groceries and left the room at 6:10pm. I remember that there is a Safeway nearby the station so I walked up there, but also stopped by at Ruby Tuesday to order a takeout. Bought some water, bananas, Poptarts, Orange juice. Brought back all the items at hotel and had a dinner. Went to bed around 9:00pm. I have not rested enough for a while.

My dinner Night view from the hotel

2009/10/24 Preparation Day

Woke up at 6:00am, the outside is 67F so it's pretty warm. It's cloudy and said to be getting some rain in the afternoon, I'd better plan to be outside in the morning and stay indoor for the afternoon. Stretched my body, took a shower and went up to the restaurant on the top floor of the hotel for free breakfast around 7:00am. The view from the restaurant was not so bad but could not see the capital area. The name of the restaurant is called "Vantage Point"... The meal was hard to say it was excellent but they had choices of briskets, sausage, potatoes, scrambled eggs, and bacon. Once come back to the room, I grabbed an umbrella, and rain jacket, I am ready to go.

Iwo Jima Memorial

I walked out from the hotel, wanted to check out the Marine Memorial located nearby the hotel. The park surrounding area is fenced up but some portions were still open. Walked to the statue, that is huge as always. It was not too breezy so I could see the flag flapping nicely, I only wish that today is a sunny day! Walking back toward the hotel to get on the Metro.

Going underground to get a ride on Metro  

Taking a walk at National Mall

Took a blue line Metro train arriving to the station at 9:30am to Smithsonian station. Coming out from the Metro, first I walked toward the Washington Monument. The rain started as I was getting close to the monument. It was a little windy too. I took a picture while covering from the rain with umbrella, and then kept moving. Walking by a park and arrived to the White House. I saw a line of people along east side extending to south east corner. I guess they are for the tour.

Washington Monument at 9:50am The White House at 10:00am    

Well, I do not need to take a tour so I walked along the south end of the property, snapped a picture though fence. after that, I thought about going to the Air and Space museum, so I am heading back to east. The rain was almost over so I could just walk on the mall. Much of the trees have their leaves in yellow, 

Inside of the museum, I found not much changed but a section for UAV has been added, I could see the Darkstar, Predator, and others

Went into the cafeteria of the building, and I had a chicken plate from Boston Market.


There is nothing compare to the Air and Space museum

The exhibits changed and now they have UAVs. Predetor,

Darksart   X-45A RQ-7A
MQ-1L     RQ-2A
X-29A Voyager    
Bell X-1   X-15 X-15


SpaceShipOne SpaceShipOne HiMAT  


Lunar Lander Skylab Applo Soyuz mission V-2
Saturn Engine 4A JN-4D F104
DC3 247D Trimotor D-558-2

Before heading back to the hotel, I walked toward the capital to snap a picture.


My lunch at the museum

After eating lunch, I walked toward the capital, then walked back to the Metro entrance. There are people playing 3-on-3 football, and

I walked back to the hotel at 12:45pm, the news reports 72F outside. I don't need a jacket!


Metro at Smithsonian station Raining pretty hard

Spending afternoon at hotel

After coming back to the hotel room, I wrote some cards to my friends and family members. I finished them around 2:00pm. The rain started around 3:00pm and sometimes very heavy. The rain was over by the evening so I left the hotel around 4:00pm to get my dinner. I had Chicken Parmesan, like a couple of years ago. After dinner, I checked the fridge and worried there may not be enough water so I went outside again around 6:00pm to nearby Safeway. There is not much water left in the store maybe because of people like me just keep buying them. Come back to the hotel, called home like I regularly do. Went to bed around 10:00pm. Tomorrow is the big day. Usually, I have hard time falling sleep but this time, I did not wake up in the night...

2009/10/25 Marathon Day

Woke up at 5:30am, still pretty dark outside. I turned on the TV for the whether information, for the outside, the street in front of the hotel is getting ready to close, so as the bridge. I see many police cruisers and other  This is the big day, for 30,000 people who are running or pedaling wheelchairs. stretched my body, took a shower,

I left the hotel around 6:45am, the race starts from 8:00am and I need to drop off a bag before the star of the race. When I stepped outside, the folks for the hand pedaling were coming for the race. Roadblocks were set up already so I can just walk around

In the morning

V-22 Flyby

Arrived at the Pentagon parking and dropped off a bag. Saw Osprey flew by then I walked toward the start. I had to stop while they are playing the U.S. anthem.

I hope my left leg will cooperate, it's only 10 minutes before the start of the race. It's not too cold or hot, it's a nice day.

  My clock  
0 8:42 As I cross the start line, I already noticing something funny on my left leg
1 18:56 Just following the people but I am slow to cover the left leg
2 29:26  
3 39:52  
4 49:31  
6 1:09:47  
7 1:20:31 Finish climbing up the hill, start heading to residential area
8 1:31:24  
9 1:42:07  
10 1:52:12  
11 2:13:02  
12 2:20:57  
13 2:23:42  
14 2:34:56  
15 2:45:59  
16 3:01:16  
17 3:12:16  
18 3:24:11  
19 3:36:01  
20 3:53:54  
21 4:08:28  
22 4:23:01  
23 4:39:27  
24 4:57:48  
25 5:15:06  
26 5:31:56 Okay just passed the 26 miles, only a few more so I can turn toward the finishing
26.2 5:35:17 (5:26:31) Ahhh, now I am free from running with painful left leg!
5K 31:39
10K 1:03:10
15K 1:36:31
20K 2:08:47
Half 2:16:52
25K 2:43:10
30K 3:23:06
35K 4:10:23
40K 5:03:55



After crossing the finish line, I received the thermal blanket and the finisher's medal (Yes, this is what I wanted so badly). Followed other finishers to get some water and goodies. They gave me a bag containing some snacks, a bagel, and a banana. They used to give us a lot of free stuffs but they are controlling their budget a lot these days, I guess. I walked out from the park and slowly start heading to the bag pick up. I also walked to pick up a commemorative coin. Once I am done, I guess I only need to walk back to the hotel. There are many people lining up to get a ride on shuttle buses, as well as full of people waiting at Metro station. That's why I picked the hotel a walking distance from the finish.

Rosslyn in the afternoon Ouch...
My lunch, a burrito My dinner, pork fries with rice and vegetable...

I already decided to I thought about what to eat for lunch, and found a Chipotle nearby so I bought a meal there. When I finish the race it was around 2:00pm and it was 2:45pm when I arrived to the hotel. As I looked out the window, I see many people walking cross the bridge, which I ran passed in the morning. First I took a hot shower to rinse off sweat then I know my legs are in pretty bad shape, so I took a cold bath also. As I checked myself, I found that my left Achilles' tendon is swelled so big, about three times the size. No wonder it is painful, and thank God it is not severed

Had lunch, and took a nap until I start feeling the heat around 4:00pm. I took a Tylenol to ease the pain and fever. In the evening I called home to let my dad know that I finished the race okay and alive. I am sure he was concerned about me. For the dinner, I went up to the restaurant around 7:30pm and had a peanuts pork meal. It was much better than their breakfast. The only thing I did not like was it took too long to serve. I walked back to my room, went to bed around 9:30pm, I kept drinking water whole evening. Not much fever developed over night, only woke up around 11:30pm once.

2009/10/26 Coming back to Detroit

Going to Airport

I woke up at 5:30am, still pretty painful to move around. It's 40F outside. I took a shower, ate breakfast, and finished packing. I checked my left leg, which looks still pretty bad but I can move if I don't bend my ankle. So I used a tape to bind it up so I can walk with a part of leg fixed, I had to find the best way for the least pain and maximum speed. I checked out from the hotel at 10:30am. Each step I take gives me much of pain but I must go to the station. At least the weather is good otherwise I could take a cab. Took a long while to get to Rosslyn station so when I arrived to the platform, it was already 10:50am. Took a train to the airport, carried my bag to the check in around 11:30am. Now I am free from carrying heavy bag.

To Chicago: AA3934 DCA(12:35pm EDT) - ORD(1:35pm CDT)

I walked to the gate at 11:45am, the plane was getting ready for the flight. The boarding started from 12:10pm and departed on time. The plane taxied to the south end of the runway 1, and took off. I saw the Pentagon, and Arlington National Cemetery then the plane flew near Dulles Airport and kept going west. I did not want to spend money to buy lunch so I ate a bagel, banana, and other snacks I got yesterday. It was plenty... I took a nap then woke up as the plane slowed down for the landing around 1:00pm, and landed in Chicago O'Hare at 1:20pm.

AA3934 at DCA, getting ready to go home now... Lining up with the runway
Pentagon Arlington National Cemetery Leaving Washington D.C.
Smithsonian Museum at Dulles Airport  

To Detroit: AA4058 ORD(3:15pm CDT) - DTW(5:30pm EDT)

The plane to Detroit was on schedule so was pushed back at 3:25pm. The plane taxied to a runway but had to give up one position by crossing the runway for once. Took off around 4:00pm, the plane went above the cloud so I could not see much. The short flight to Detroit was just so quick, the weather improved as it comes closed to Detroit, and still bright outside. I could see the downtown Detroit in far way. The plane landed at 5:50pm and arrived to the gate in 10 minutes. I just need to go home now.

Detroit Downtown Airport insight

AA4058 arrived in Detroit

Coming Home

Getting off from the plane, could not walk too far so I had to drag myself to the moving walkway and rest for a while. After picking up my bag at the baggage claims, I moved slowly to the shuttle but pick up, I was the only one so it was a quick ride. I left the parking around 6:30pm, the first thing I did was to drive to the office to make sure everything is okay. Left there around 8:00pm and come home. I had to carry up a bag to the third floor but it was not so bad. I had nothing to eat so used a frozen meal in the freezer and relaxed for a while. Went to bed around 10:30pm.



Go to Top / Home / MCM2003 / MCM2005 / MCM2006 / MCM2007 / MCM2008 / MCM2009