In 1976, the first Marine Corps Marathon welcomed nearly 2,000 runners to the start line. Only two of those original runners have participated in every MCM. They are affectionately named "the Groundpounders". Known for their dedication to the sport of running and their allegiance to "The People's Marathon", the Groundpounders are staples on the course, rich with history, memories and the spirit of the MCM.
1st MCM: 3:41:21
39th MCM: 6:42:23
Best MCM Finish Time: 3:14:37 (1977)
Will Brown, 67, of Raleigh, NC, enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1967 and served active duty for four years, including a year in Vietnam. He spent 26 years in the Marine Corps Reserve and retired as a colonel in 1998. Brown decided to run the very first MCM because it was being sponsored by the Marine Corps Reserves. He sent in his application “in a moment of insanity,” just to see if he could do it. Since the first race in 1976, he has completed numerous marathons, 39 of which are MCM’s, 29 ultra marathons and three 100-milers. The race has another special meaning for Brown. His father was a WWII Marine who fought and was wounded on Iwo Jima. Another family member, a distant cousin of his mother, PFC Rene Gagnon, is one of the Marines raising the flag in the Rosenthal picture that inspired the Iwo Jima monument, and finish line of the MCM. Brown was inducted into the MCM Hall of Fame in 2010.
1st MCM: 4:04:14
39th MCM: 5:43:10
Best MCM Finish Time: 3:16:21 (1979)
Al Richmond, 74, of Arlington, VA, began running in high school. Richmond says he disliked long-distance running, but a conversation in a locker room changed all of that. Richmond was working in the Marine Corps office that was helping put on the first ever Marine Corps Reserve Marathon in 1976. While he was working for the race, he never actually intended to run it. Then one day, a co-worker commented that he was going to take part in the marathon and Richmond figured that if his co-worker could do the marathon, then so could he. Richmond has completed more than 40 marathons to include 39 MCM’s. Richmond says the MCM is, “a personal thing, and I don’t want to be the one who breaks this streak early.”