WASHINGTON - It's that time of year again -- time for the Marine Corps Marathon.
This year marks the 37th year for the race, which sold out in record time earlier this year, says race director Rick Nealis.
"The momentum started in March when we sold out in two hours and 41 minutes," he says.
The largest number of participants to date, 43,600, have registered to run the Marine Corps Marathon, Marine Corps Marathon 10K and Healthy Kids Fun Run.
He says there will be some famous people running the race like Travis Taylor, from the National Geographic show "Rocket City Rednecks".
The rocket scientist will be running in a specially-designed lightweight, full- body armor suit, which weighs about 40 pounds.
"It's a suit that should help protect and give our service men more mobility on the battlefield to protect them from IEDs," Nealis says, adding they are all pulling for Taylor to make it across the finish line.
Also on the celebrity list is actor, comedian Rob Riggle, a Lt. Col. in the Marine Corps Reserve. He will serve as an honorary starter.
The race will also include six returning champions, "which has never happened for Marine Corps. We're lucky if we get one returning champions," Nealis says.
Although there is a flurry of events associated with the race starting on Thursday, the main event takes place Sunday, Oct. 28.
The race has been called "The People's Marathon" because runners and walkers from all walks of life take part in it.
Even though it's one of the largest marathon's, there is no cash prize.
To read more about the Marine Corps Marathon, follow this link.
WTOP's Kathy Stewart contributed to this story. Follow WTOP on Twitter.
(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)
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