MCM preview: Miles 1-13

ap101031016633.jpg

MCM preview: Miles 1-13

Want to know what to expect from the course of the 37th Marine Corps Marathon? CSNwashington.com's resident MCM veteran is here to give you the skinny on what to expect on race day in a two-part MCM preview.

Have a pair of old running shoes lying around?  Bring them with you to the Health and Fitness Expo at the DC Armory where you'll pick up your race day packet.  There you can donate your old shoes to local homeless shelters and receive a 5 dollar gift card from DSW in return.  The Expo will be held Thursday, October 25 from 4-8 p.m., Friday, October 26 from 10 a.m.-7 p.m. and Saturday, October 27 from 9 a.m.-7 p.m. 

Grab your race bib in the pick-up tent across from the Armory then head inside to expo to claim your MCM long-sleave shirt and check out over 200 vendors.

The metro will open at 5 a.m. on race day and runners should use the Pentagon station to access the MCM starting line.  Race day parking is also available in Crystal City at 23rd Street and Crystal Drive with shuttle service that will bring you to the Runners Village.  Post-race shuttles and taxis will also be available at the Finish Festival, which is accessible from the Rosslyn Metro Station.  

This year's start line is located jut beyond the Pentagon, along Arlington National Cemetery.  Runners will head north down Route 110 and will pass the first mile marker directly in the heart of Rosslyn. Be prepared for a slow start after the gun --you might have a lengthy wait to reach the start but this will be subtracted from your official time. After passing that first mile marker (just 25.2 more to go!), you'll hang a right onto North Lynn Street, avoiding a very daunting Wilson Boulevard hill looming ahead. You won't be skirting an incline entirely though. Before reaching the Key Bridge you'll turn up Lee Highway and begin to ascend its slightly less-steep cousin where the course rises about 150 feet in elevation from the first mile marker to just beyond the second.

With the largest hill of your 26.2-mile journey behind you, you'll find the first water station. Now, I'm not here to tell anyone how to run their race, but chances are most runners won't need water after just two miles. If you happen to be with me on that, avoid the slowdowns on the sides of the streets and stick to the middle of the road --the second water and gatorade station lies just two more miles ahead. From this point you'll enjoy a little better than a mile-and-a-half of down hill running along tree-lined Spout Run and George Washington Parkway.  You may still find yourself cutting around other runners but the course will open up a bit more after the Mile-4 marker when you reach the Key Bridge.

As you make your way up the slight incline to the bridge (and are blinded by the morning sun) you'll hear the roar of thousands of spectators waiting to greet you as you cross into DC. From here you should find a bit more separation from other runners and will be able to begin settling into your target pace. After crossing the bridge, the course takes a turn away from Georgetown and heads into the woods along Canal Road before looping back to MacArthur Boulevard between Miles 6 and 7. The turn will also bring you through the Palisades neighborhood as you climb the second largest, but thankfully last significant, hill of the course on MacArthur. On the downward slope back to Georgetown, you'll reach Mile-8 just before hopping on M Street to make your way through picturesque Georgetown and the first big pop of spectators.

Just beyond nine miles in you'll come across the first food station: oranges!  Grab a few wedges to refuel before exiting Georgetown onto the Rock Creek Parkway, where you'll follow the Potomac River notching Mile 10 after the Kennedy Center and Mile 11 at the Lincoln Memorial, then continue along the Potomac on Ohio Drive to head out to Hains Point, a somewhat lonely and sparsely spectator-lined place.  The MCM crew seems to think of everything though: to counter the lack of traditional crowd noise you'll find several stages set up along the 3-mile loop featuring bands and dance groups -plenty of entertainment to keep you motivated out on the island.  

Or simply find your own motivation in hitting the halfway point. Your call.

Either way, there will be a band, a Clif Shots station and, thankfully, a water station to follow. Keep it up -you're half way there.

Part Two: Miles 14-26.2

Quick Links

Redskins Playbook: One stat where Rob Kelley is way better than Ezekiel Elliott

Redskins Playbook: One stat where Rob Kelley is way better than Ezekiel Elliott

The point here is not to suggest Robert Kelley is a better running back than Ezekiel Elliott. Both players were rookies last season, Elliott drafted in the top five out of Ohio State and Kelley undrafted out of Tulane. 

Elliott led the NFL in rushing, gaining more than 1,600 yards and averaging more than 5 yards-per-carry. Kelley did not take over the Redskins No. 1 RB job until mid-season, and while he didn't even rush for 1,000 yards, he gained 700 yards in nine starts and averaged more than 4 YPC.

There was one stat, however, where Kelley stood out. Pro Football Focus provides the baseline.

The statistic stands out for Jordan Howard, a star rookie runner for the Bears. Howard ran for more than 1,300 yards last season on 252 carries to get to his 40 misses. 

ROSTER BATTLES: Left guard | Tight end Nickel cornerback  | Inside linebacker | Running back

Elliott's run totals were much, much higher. The Cowboys star ran the ball 322 times, resulting in 36 missed tackles. Kelley ran the ball just 168 times, and made 35 defenders miss. 

Using basic math, Elliott made a defender miss about every 8.9 carries. Kelley made a defender miss about every 4.8 carries. 

Redskins coaches talked repeatedly about Kelley's vision and ability to make defenders miss as a big part of his ascension to the top running back spot. Ends up, they were right. 

<<<NFL POWER RANKINGS: WHO GOT BETTER AFTER THE DRAFT>>>

Want more Redskins? Click here to follow JP on Facebook and check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates via Twitter! Click here for the #RedskinsTalk on Apple Podcasts, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

Quick Links

Kevin Gausman gets first win since May in Orioles 3-1 win against Blue Jays

Kevin Gausman gets first win since May in Orioles 3-1 win against Blue Jays

TORONTO -- In his final start before the calendar changes, Kevin Gausman made sure he didn't finish the month of June without a win.

Gausman won for the first time in four starts, Mark Trumbo hit an RBI double and the Baltimore Orioles beat the Toronto Blue Jays 3-1 on Tuesday night.

The Orioles won their third straight and improved to 8-2 against the Blue Jays this season. Toronto is 12-20 against AL East opponents.

The Blue Jays have lost five of seven.

Gausman (4-7) allowed four hits in 5 1/3 innings, his first scoreless outing of the season, winning for the first time since May 31 against the Yankees. The right-hander came in 0-3 with a 9.20 ERA over his previous three starts.

"He was really working the bottom of the zone," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "He pitched a lot with his fastball early and went to some other pitches the second and third time around ."

Gausman said he's made an effort to mix up his arsenal in recent starts.

"Earlier in the season I got way too fastball-happy in some counts," he said. "That's really something I'm trying to do better, mixing up my pitches, moving up and down and in and out, just trying to keep these guys off balance."

Michael Givens pitched 1 2/3 innings and Darren O'Day worked the eighth. Brad Brach gave up a two-out homer to Troy Tulowitzki in the ninth but held on for his 14th save.

Gausman snapped his winless streak against his favorite opponent: he's 2-0 with a 1.99 ERA in four starts against the Blue Jays.

"He's got a great arm," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "He was hitting his spots for the most part, just enough off speed stuff to keep you honest."

Jose Bautista reached on a bloop single to begin the Toronto first, but the Blue Jays didn't get another hit off Gausman until a one-out single by Kendrys Morales in the fifth.

"I get the best view of everybody who gets on that bump," Orioles center fielder Adam Jones said, "and (Gausman) attacked that zone."

Gausman left after Bautista singled and Martin walked. Givens began his outing with a wild pitch, advancing the runners, then got Josh Donaldson to line out sharply to third. Justin Smoak walked to load the bases but Givens struck out Morales to end the threat.

MORE ORIOLES: 2017 MLB POWER RANKINGS

The Orioles did all the scoring they would need with a two-out rally against Joe Biagini in the first. Jonathan Schoop singled and Jones walked before Trumbo lined a two-run double to center.

Jones made it 3-0 with an RBI single in the third.

Biagini (2-7) allowed three runs and walked a season-worst four in 5 1/3 innings, losing for the fifth time in six starts.