US Marine Corps Marathon - October. The US Marine Corps Marathon, "the people's marathon", starts and ends at the Marine Corps War Memorial in Arlington, Virginia. It is rated first among American marathons for first-time marathoners and is fourth for number of finishers (14,000 in 1997). The 26 mile, 385 yard, USATF certified course is relatively flat, winding through Arlington, Georgetown and the District of Columbia. Passing many of the area's attractions, including the Capitol, Union Station, the Jefferson and Lincoln memorials, the Pentagon, the Smithsonian Museums and the Kennedy Center, it is truly a beautiful course that has been aptly nicknamed the "Marathon of the Monuments".