WASHINGTON -- Thirty thousand runners will descend on D.C. this weekend for the 37th Marine Corps Marathon. "The People's Marathon," the fourth largest marathon in the United States, ninth in the world, will happen rain or shine. (As of Friday aftenroon odds are no rain, according to the Washington Post's Capital Weather Gang.)
Grand Marshall and current Marine Corps Reserve Rob Riggle is ready for his role as head cheerleader.
This year's marathon sold out in a record two hours and forty-one minutes. The Marine Corps Marathon is one of the only marathons without a qualifier, lottery or fundraising minimum.
11,000 participants are first timers. 9,000 are armed forces members. Every aspect of the marathon, from setting up cones to running water stations, is run by 2,000 Marines.
In addition to the 26.2 mile race, a Healthy Kids Fun Run is scheduled for Saturday. 3,600 children will attempt to break two Guinness World Records titles, most people to run 100 meters in 24 hours and the longest chain of shoes. Sunday will also have ten thousand people running a 10K.
The marathon may be known for having Oprah run it in 1994, but there are equally interesting happenings this year. Runner's World magazine will have 300 people participating in the Runners World Challenge. Dr. Travis Taylor, star of the National Geographic Channel's "Rocket City Rednecks," will run the race in prototype full-body armor. Lauren Lee, a contestant on last season's "The Biggest Loser" will run her first marathon. Four men, Will Brown, Mel Williams, PhD., Matthew Jaffe and Al Richmond, make up the Groundpounders. This will be their 37th Marine Corps Marathon.
We spoke to Rob Riggle about his very fun, very comfortable job of being Grand Marshall for the Marine Corps Marathon.
The Huffington Post: Your wife is running the 10K but you are you not running at all?
Rob Riggle: No.
HuffPost: How did that work out?
Riggle: Because I'm very clever, very smart.
We were going to run it together, but as we started to look at the schedule they said, "Well, your Grand Marshall duties are going to prohibit you from being in two places at once. You have to start the thing, we're really sorry."
HuffPost: What are your Grand Marshall duties?
Riggle: I fire a gun. In the air. Which is important. You can't shoot at the crowd, I can't shoot at my foot. I say good luck to everybody, I say a little chatter, which is "How is everybody doing?" and then I launch everybody.
HuffPost: And then you're done.
Riggle: For a while. Then I go to the finish line and greet the finishers, smile, pat people on the back, encourage people. I think that's pretty much it. Enough to prohibit me from running the 10K.
HuffPost: Have you run a marathon?
Riggle: I ran the New York City Marathon.
HuffPost: Any tips?
Riggle: Yes! Write your name on something, on your shirt. When you run, people on the streets will see it and yell encouragement. When you hear your name mentioned like that it feels very specific and it's very uplifting. Around mile 17 you need someone yelling, "You can do it!"
HuffPost: Did you listen to any music during the marathon?
Riggle: I did not. I just listend to the voices in my head. Which were not encouraging.
HuffPost: Any other advice?
Riggle: Band-Aid your nipples.
HuffPost: What's your favorite D.C. hangout?
Riggle: I love everything you'd expect someone to love, the Mall, all the historical sites, being able to look at the White House in real life, those things are awesome.
I have a fondness for Georgetown. There's always some place in Georgetown that has a bunch of people that look like they're having fun, watching the game. Go in there, grab a pint. It's the best.
HuffPost: Did you get along with anyone on "The Daily Show" on a sports level?
Riggle: I don't think they know what sports is.
We had a fantasy football league at "The Daily Show."
HuffPost: And you dominated it?
Riggle: No! It's the most frustrating thing! John Oliver won, he has two Super Bowl rings from our fantasy league. He knows so little about the sport.
HuffPost: Are you still playing fantasy football?
Riggle: Oh yeah. I'm in three leagues this year.
HuffPost: Who were your three first picks?
Riggle: Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers and Drew Breese. I love all of them. Couldn't be more happy. My second pick in all three leagues were Jamaal Charles from the Chiefs. After that it just devolves into chaos.
HuffPost: Any words of encouragement as the Grand Marshall?
Riggle: I hope everybody has fun. And I hope it rains. Running in the rain is a blast!
The 37th Marine Corps Marathon begins at 7:55 a.m. The wheelchair/hand cycle start time is 7:40 a.m. The Finish Festival opens at 8 a.m. and closes at 4 p.m. The MCM Awards Ceremony begins at 11:10 a.m. The MCM Military and Specialty Awards Ceremony begins at 12:30 p.m.