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  •   A Golden Opportunity for 2000

    How to Enter
    The Marines will begin accepting applications for the 2000 Marine Corps Marathon Feb. 1. You may request an application from the Marines at 1-800-RUN-USMC, or enter the race online at www.marinemarathon.com
    By Jim Hage
    Special to The Washington Post
    Friday, October 22, 1999; Page H3

    The window for entering the 25th Marine Corps Marathon doesn't open until Feb. 1, 2000. But if you're interested in running, keep some stamps or a modem handy.

    Washington's increasingly popular marathon, scheduled for Oct. 22 next year, likely will reach its capacity quickly.

    "Our goal is not to fill the race in three weeks, then sit around with nothing to do for six months," race director Rick Nealis said. "But we could."

    This year's marathon reached its 20,000-runner capacity March 1, the earliest closing date ever. If organizers move the start/finish area to the Mall, the field could expand by several thousand runners as part of a silver anniversary celebration.

    The traditional start/finish area is the Marine Corps Memorial in Arlington. But the proposed construction of an Air Force memorial at the same site spurred consideration of a move to the Mall, perhaps permanently. "On the Mall, we could grow to whatever we wanted to handle logistically," Nealis said.

    The Marine Corps, however, is reluctant to tinker with what has been a successful and dramatic setting for the race.

    Registration for next year's race will open Feb. 1 regardless, one month later than originally planned because of some accounting concerns. "We'll mail out applications to everyone who runs this year sometime in December, probably do a second, smaller mailing, and begin accepting checks February 1st, the same day online registration opens," Nealis said. After that, it's Katie bar the door.

    © Copyright 1999 The Washington Post Company

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