Four Star Diplomats
Our inaugural team of Diplomats hail from all over the state of Virginia, as well as from Washington D.C., Maryland, New York and Texas. Meet the 2021 MCM Four-Star Diplomats and follow for exclusive content!
Location: New York
My favorite part of the MCM course is the stretch between the Lincoln Memorial and the Capitol Building. You hit it just before you take the left turn to Beat the Bridge, and it's just an incredible feeling to be there with the other runners and to soak in that part of the city. That’s the moment the race hits home because you realize that DC is yours for the day – and what an incredible honor to have the privilege of running those streets!
My favorite part of the MCM course is after mile 25. This is the home stretch where every runner seems to be reborn. The energy of the crowd feels more electric along with the background sound of the announcer’s voice from a mile away. This is it; this is the moment you realize you are about to become part of the 1% of runners – all your training, hard work, and sacrifices about to pay off.
On top of the last hill you must conquer are Marines waiting to shake your hands and hang the medal that will forever signify your accomplishment. It doesn’t matter how many times you have crossed that finish line, it just gets sweeter every single time.
I have two favorite parts of the course. My first is the wear blue mile. Every time I run, it gives me all the feels and it was even more special on the occasions I ran to remember a fallen soldier. On the flip side, my other favorite is Crystal City – just as you are mentally done, you enter a tunnel of noise and energy. It's a huge pick-me-up before the last stretch to the finish.
Location: Washington D.C.
My favorite part of the MCM course is approaching the U.S. Capitol Building along the north side of the National Mall. So many quintessentially DC sights to see along this portion of the route and not having to wait at the various pedestrian crosswalks was a nice change from my training runs. Also, this was the point during the 2019 race that the rain cleared out...thank goodness!
I ran my first marathon when our daughter was 4 years old, often training with a running stroller. On race morning, my husband dropped me off at the start and went home to pick up our daughter. They stood at the 26 mile marker waiting for me and when our daughter saw me, she started screaming and jumping up and down, "Mommy! You're running far!" When I got closer, she broke away from my husband and ran with me to the finish line. It is my most memorable running moment because that day I realized that I was setting a good example of healthy living and mindset. My training was teaching her about setting goals and doing hard things that you aren't sure you can do.
My favorite part of the MCM is the Blue Mile; 1,064 powerful steps. I believe a very important part of the history, honor and esprit de corps of the Marine Corps tradition(s) all start with remembrance. This portion of the Marine Corps Marathon on Hains Point always brings on the emotions – I get chills, I feel lighter and the running exhaustion and pain dissipate. I make the conscious effort to say the name of every fallen service member in my head as I run by.
As I see the families of the fallen, some with tears in their eyes, many with smiles on their faces and some eagerly cheering the runners on, I am so proud of the men and the women of our Armed Forces, and especially for those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.