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Miles 2012 Recap
Hello, everyone! I’m usually known as the strong, silent type, but I think it’s time for me to speak…
and not just for a treat! Finally, I get to share my thoughts on, well, everything! Here’s a look back at running with the Marines in 2012 through the eyes of Yours Truly:
So, we kicked off 2012 with the Irish Sprint 10K on Saturday, March 17 in Prince William Forest Park and…they made me wear a kilt. Let me say it again: They made me wear a kilt. All right, so I suppose it was St. Patrick’s Day and all, but really- give me a pair of running shorts and I’m a happy puppy. That kilt just felt sort of breezy if you know what I mean. But, I became super-popular at the Irish Sprint finish when I grabbed a stack of Golden Tickets and started handing them out to runners, giving all 1,693 of them a guaranteed spot in the 2012 MCM. I know, I know, they just wanted to come back and visit me in October. Who can blame them, really? Congratulations to Jason Kut, of Quantico, VA who finished in 37:16 to lead the men and to Erin Demchko of Dumfries, VA who led the women with a time of 41:43.
Moving on to the Marine Corps Historic Half marathon and Semper Fred 5K on May 20. I love Fredericksburg! Molly and I worked really hard throughout the weekend of the Historic Half treating our adoring fans to appearances at the Healthy Lifestyle Expo and giving out thousands of high fives at the Historic Half and Semper Fred finish line. This year was especially great at the Historic Half because we introduced our new friend, Captain Fred McHalf. Molly and I give Capt McHalf some serious props for achieving the highest rank in the Continental Marines and serving with George Washington at Trenton. We are a little humbled that he chose to join our little band of mascots after such prestigious service, but he’s made a great addition! He might need to work on his modern dance skills a bit… but he’ll get there. I don’t think he’s ever had the occasion to bust out some “moves like Jagger” in front of thousands of people before. I’m guessing it wasn’t really part of his military strategy training! We had a lot of fun bringing in all the runners at the finish line, and we were totally impressed with our leaders. For the Semper Fred 5K, Kenyan native Ruben Mwei finished in a record-setting time of 15:27. For the ladies, Molly Roohi, of King George, VA, also set a new record for Semper Fred women with a time of 19:03. Local Fredericksburg runner Bert Jacoby was the new Historic Half champion with a finish in 1:11:33. Courtney Chapman of Norfolk, VA placed first among all women finishing the Historic Half in 1:21:56. All in all, it was a great weekend celebrating Historic Half number five!
Following that was Run Amuck on June 16 aboard Marine Corps Base Quantico. Give me a mud pit, and I’m happier than a pig… in a mud pit. Hmm. That analogy didn’t work out so well, huh? But you catch my drift. Dirt + Miles = Bliss! But it wasn’t all play for this guy. Don’t let my MCM buddies fool you. The staff here likes to pretend they do all the tough stuff, but I put a little bulldog paw action into digging those enormous mud pits out. You’re welcome. Totally worth it after witnessing 2,545 slimy, grimy Run Amuck-ers cross the finish line, though. You came, you saw, you got pretty messy. Then you got doused with a fire hose. Don’t worry- I joined you in that, too, since the MCM staff wouldn’t let me hop a ride back to headquarters until I washed the Quantico trails out of my fur. Props to Jeff Bedell of Arlington, VA and Brittany Copeland of Stafford, VA, who met the Run Amuck challenge and finished first place in their divisions with times of 26:31 and 27:19, respectively.
Molly and I enjoyed some friendly sibling rivalry, uh, revelry, at the pink- and blue-themed Gender Defender 5K on August 25. Although the weather did not fully cooperate (we apologize for the wet dog smell) the turnout was still great! We all enjoyed some pampering and treats at perhaps the most upscale finish area I’ve seen at any 5K race. From wine to pizza and comics to salon services, there really was something for everyone. Including dogs. And bananas. Congrats to top finishers Nick Oltman, of Fredericksburg, VA, who topped the field of 589 runners by finishing in 17:00 minutes, and Susanna Sullivan, of Falls Church, VA, who achieved a 17:45 finish to lead the women.
And now, the big one… the 37th Marine Corps Marathon Weekend! I have so many things that I could talk about here, so I will do my best to keep from getting too long-winded! First, we kicked off the weekend with the opening of the Health & Fitness Expo at the DC Armory. The Expo is always so great because you can just feel the excitement and anticipation hanging in the air. It’s such a great vibe! The Healthy Kids Fun Run on Saturday, October 27 hosted 3,600 kids this year- an all-time high for this event. Truly, this is one of my favorite races out of the entire year. I get lots of love from all the kiddos and I get to hang out with some of my mascot buddies from the local area. We even get to do a little race to kick off the festivities in the morning. My buddy, Archie the Eagle, took top honors this year… but he better be watching his back next year. I will triumph! After the Kids Run I kicked my feet up and did a little carb-loading to prepare for the big day… the MCM and MCM10K on Sunday, October 28! Hurricane Sandy threatened to unleash her fury, but she had no effect on our fun. Our runners- 23,515 in the MCM and 6,742 in the MCM10K- totally outran the storm. Thank goodness, because I wasn’t really looking forward to the matted fur that a rainy, windy storm would certainly promise. Whew. I loved meeting the tens of thousands of people that came through the finish chute. You would think my paws would get tired from all the high fives and my legs would give out from busting out all the dance moves Gangnam-style, but I truly eat this up like Kibble. At the end of the day, the competitors and their indomitable spirit are what make my job one of the best on the planet. I think I speak for Molly as well when I say that we feel so privileged to witness up close the joy of a successful finish! A special shout-out goes to the top competitors this year. Congratulations to MCM10K winners Glenn Collins (46:44) and Susanna Sullivan (47:31) and MCM winners Augustus Maiyo (2:20:20) and Hirut Beyene Guangul (2:42:03).
And finally, the culminating event in the 2012 MCM schedule… the Turkey Trot 10K/Kids Mile held on Saturday, November 17 aboard Marine Corps Base Quantico. This time my stylist felt it would be appropriate for me to wear a turkey on my head. I suppose they felt they kicked off 2012 by putting me in a kilt, so they had to come up with an equally awesome way for me to close out the year. I feel perhaps that costumes will be an item to discuss in my 2013 contract negotiations. Ahem. Anyway, the scene at the sold-out Turkey Trot was pretty festive! I’m so glad some of you took the opportunity to sport some Turkey Day duds, as well! And then in keeping with the holiday theme the prizes for our winners were turkeys and pumpkin pies. I’m not going to lie. Those turkeys and pies may have required a Marine guard to keep me from being naughty. They looked so delicious! 790 of you finished the Turkey Trot, and lucky winners Michael Krisman of Montclair, VA and Vicky Jasparro of Fredericksburg, VA scored 20 lb. turkeys for their efforts. I’m. So. Jealous. Ah well, I guess if you put in the effort to run, you deserve to celebrate with a turkey feast. Perhaps I shall join the running ranks next time for an opportunity to get a bird. Well… perhaps not without some serious training first.
Well, that’s it for me, folks! I’m looking forward to seeing everyone back for some fun in 2013! I hear my friends at the MCM are planning on lots of great events for me… uh… I mean… you next year. Check out the new challenges and returning favorites here! Registration for the 2013 MCM Event Series, the Marine Corps Historic Half marathon, Semper Fred 5K and NEW Historic 10K opens on January 23. Registration for the 38th MCM opens at noon EST on March 27. The MCM10K and Healthy Kids Fun Run will register runners beginning on April 17. See you next year!