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MCM Forward RecapAt 6:15 a.m. on October 28, 2012 the first Marine Corps Marathon (MCM) Forward ever held in the state of Kuwait began. The 57 participants and over 150 volunteers from across the country gathered on a small base on this cool and overcast day to be a part of MCM Forward history. After the start, the next seven hours were a true test of what runners could achieve over 26.2 miles of sand-kissed road. For some participants, this event was a check on their “Bucket List,” allowing them the ability to say “I completed a marathon!”
Army Specialist Ian Enriquez, 21, can now claim the title of marathon finisher after a strong run with a time of 4:35:40. For other MCM Forward runners like Army Colonel William McSkimming, 56, it has been a tradition to participate in the MCM at every opportunity. “This was my 28th marathon and tenth MCM,” says Col. McSkimming. “The MCM is my favorite marathon. Running the MCM forward meant so much for me. I ran with a friend that is a first time marathoner.” Lieutenant Commander Aaron Anthonsen used this marathon as another training run for a marathon he plans on running in Florida late this winter. He finished in 3:55:34. Damien Usita, a U.S. Air Force Technical Sergeant, chased the pace car provided by the Exchange Car Sales. TSgt. Usita finished the MCM Forward in third place with a time of 3:44:14.
Lieutenant Colonel Bethany Jenkins of MARCENT FWD was proud to present awards to top MCM Forward finishers after motivating participants along the course to keep on moving and to finish strong. LtCol Jenkins presented an award to first place male, U.S. Army Sergeant First Class Jonathan Orloski, who completed the race in 3:24:13.
First place in the Women’s Division went to Amie Stryker. She is a Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Air Force and finished her marathon with a time of 4:05:05.
Planning for the Kuwait running of the MCM Forward began about six months ago when Senior Chief Derek Lindsay of the U.S. Navy saw that Kuwait had never hosted an MCM before. He contacted U.S. Marines in the area to find out why and what he could do to make it happen. After enlisting the help of motivated Corporal Jeremy Bradshaw and his supervisor Gunnery Sergeant Michael Briggs, they began the process of coordinating the MCM Forward. GySgt. Briggs was a valuable asset due to his previous experience as personnel with the MCM that is held annually in Arlington, VA on the same day. Cpl. Bradshaw enlisted the aid of over 150 service members and civilians to cover eight water points and several road guard locations, motivating and supporting runners along their 26.2 mile long journey.
Since 2006 the MCM Forward has brought the MCM to deployed running enthusiasts in forward-operating locations throughout the Middle East. Over 1,200 military members have run the MCM Forward in locations including forward operating bases in Iraq, Afghanistan and aboard naval aircraft carriers like the USS New York, USS Gunston Hall and USS Iwo Jima.