August 24, 2010

Marine Corps Marathon

The Marine Corps Marathon is October 31st this year. I'm not running the marathon, but I am running the 10K. This is my first official race...as in I get a jersey, a number, etc.

Kern is running the marathon and has been training really hard for it. I came across some interesting history of how this particular marathon came about:

On October 17th, 1975, Colonel Jim Fowler wrote a memo to his superior, General Michael Ryan, outlining his concept for a Marine Corps Reserve Marathon. The idea was to promote community goodwill, showcase the Marine Corps, serve as a recruiting tool and finally, to give local Marines an opportunity to qualify for the legendary Boston Marathon.

As Fowler’s memo explained so well, “The name marathon evokes military history and is the kind of event which the public finds in consonance with the image of the Marines.” General Ryan loved the concept, and helped it receive approval from the Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Louis Wilson.

The first MCM was held on November 7th, 1976 with 1,175 participants (New York only had 123 participants in its first running, six years earlier). Then as now, runners began and ended the race at the Marine Corps War Memorial in Arlington, Virginia – a fitting location for a Marine Corps event.

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