The 2002 Marine Corp Marathon as seen by Ken Archer

I was on a pretty hard pace (around a 1:30 or so)until the 23rd mile mark at the Pentagon, when the police led me off the course onto the back of the 5k race. The road to the right of the Pentagon which was where I was supposed to go was blocked with cones so both the police and I were mislead. Looks like they were not expecting anyone so early or purposely led me of course. The police then backed off and did not clear a way for me. I was then going 4-5 MPH with no real way to turn around and no way to get by the runners. Looking for a quicker route, I then somehow ended up on the GW parkway with no protection whatsoever. Turned around and got back into the slow moving 5K. I think my time would of been a least 15-20 minutes faster around 1:32-33 instead of 1:41.  

Next year I'll break through the cones on my own. In general the course was challenging and uphill. You couldn't get any decent speed down the major hills because the roads were so rough. After climbing the hills there was no payoff on the downside. There were steel plates on M street about 20-30 of them that you had to get around and play "chicken" with the oncoming traffic.  There was another plate covering the entire road around mile 19 or so that came on us without any warning. You really had to be careful and have your wits about you and play "dodge the bumps" with lots of "stop and goes" the entire race.  Next year the steel plates most likely will be gone. Thick puncture proof tires and spokes are highly recommended regardless.

The weather was perfect and I plan on doing it again next year if they allow us to participate. Only two wheelchair racers showed up for the race. There were around 4 other handcyclists plus one hybrid crank chair.  Many had problems like I did with the course and I'm not sure how many plan on returning.