Wagswoofs – Early Sunday morning, runners embarked on the 48th edition of the Marine Corps Marathon, weaving their way through various parts of Virginia and D.C.
On Sunday morning, the 48th edition of the Marine Corps Marathon kicked off with participants running through various areas in Virginia and D.C. Notably, local runners emerged victorious as they were the first women to cross both the marathon and 50K finish lines.
Dubbed as “The People’s Marathon,” it is known to be one of the most significant marathons both in the country and the world.
Over 20,000 individuals are currently participating in the marathon of 26.2 miles around the country’s capital.
Bonnie Keating, a 38-year-old runner hailing from Fairfax, Virginia, emerged as the champion of the women’s marathon with an impressive time of two hours, fifty minutes, and forty-nine seconds.
According to Keating, she secured the third position in the previous year.
Keating admitted, “I’m not going to lie, those last hills got me.” Despite the challenging terrain, he expressed his excitement for the race and the overwhelming support he received. As a civilian working for the Marine Corps, Keating found the event to be a thrilling experience.
Keating hails from Fairfax and attended Robinson High School before relocating to San Diego, California for her college education.
According to her, the Marine Corps deserves her gratitude for organizing the race.
She expressed her gratitude towards the well-organized and supportive crowd, as well as the refreshing water stops that helped to keep her motivated throughout the event. “The support from the crowd was fantastic, and their organization made all the difference. The water stops were especially helpful, and we truly appreciate it,” she shared.
Anna Staats, aged 24 and hailing from Arlington, Virginia, emerged as the victor in the women’s 50K race, clocking a commendable time of three hours, 35 minutes, and 57 seconds.
How will she commemorate the occasion?
Staats stated that he would likely go for a run in the morning and may consider having a beer afterward.
Julius Kogo, a 38-year-old Kenyan currently residing in Durham, North Carolina, emerged as the winner of the marathon. He clocked a time of two hours, 25 minutes, and 56 seconds. In an interview after the race, Julius expressed his intention to participate in the event next year with a goal of running even faster.
With a sense of accomplishment, he expressed gratitude to God for completing the task. “I managed to finish it, and the time taken is not bad,” he said confidently. He also added, “This time next year, I’ll come and lower it.”
Calum Neff, a 39-year-old Canadian, emerged as the winner of the 50K race. Currently based in Houston, Texas, he completed the race in an impressive time of two hours, 55 minutes, and 57 seconds.
He said that it was a challenge to have the marathoners start just a little bit later because he knew that they would be arriving at a faster pace. Therefore, one of his goals for the day was to prevent the marathoners from overtaking him, and he was successful in doing so.
During the race, WTOP’s Shayna Estulin engaged in conversations with both runners and spectators who were gathered along the race route to show their support for the participants.
Ivonne Maxwell, hailing from the Dallas area, catches the eye with her brightly colored pink shirt emblazoned with the word “survivor.” She stands out among the athletes present.
She expressed her determination by saying, “I won’t let breast cancer take it away from me. That’s why I’m here.”
During her training, she received devastating news that she had cancer, which was discovered after four months.
“She said that she had recently completed radiation treatment just a week ago and was now dealing with radiation burns all over her body.”
With a deep understanding of the challenges ahead, she has embarked on a difficult journey. However, she has taken the proactive step of enlisting the support of her friends to help her along the way.
Active duty Air Force member Major Amy Natalini has completed her 65th race at the marathon. In her message to fellow runners, she encourages them to remember the hard work they put into their training and to celebrate their achievement at the finish line.
On Sunday morning, Janice Wright accompanied her son Matthew, who is 25 years old and has Autism and Angelman syndrome, to the race in Maryland. The latter is a genetic disorder that affects the nervous system.
Participating in the race with the nonprofit organization Athletes Serving Athletes, he’s jogging alongside fellow athletes as part of their group. This marks his seventh marathon, showcasing his impressive endurance and dedication to the sport.
According to Wright, the impact that he makes on people is evident in the way they remember him from different races. Whenever they go to a race, people come up to them and express their admiration for him. Even though Wright may not recognize them, they remember him and are fond of him due to his love for racing.
Logan Cunningham, a resident of Northern Virginia, is currently participating in her second marathon. She mentioned that she has received the necessary support to keep her motivated throughout the race.
Cunningham expressed her gratitude towards the presence of her father and boyfriend as a support system, stating, “It’s really nice to have my dad and boyfriend here to support me.”
After the race, her boyfriend Justin offered to assist her in case she needs it. He even joked that he might have to carry her home because she won’t be able to walk too far.