News: Marine Corps Historic Half Marathon forms Iron Mile Company
Story by Sgt. Christopher Zahn
QUANTICO, Va. - Since its inception in 2008, thousands of runners have taken to the streets of Fredericksburg, Va., during the Marine Corps Historic Half Marathon.
As the race gains popularity, the Marine Corps Marathon staff wanted to find a way to honor those who have competed in every Historic Half, and will compete this year on the 5th anniversary. Enter the Iron Mile Company, which will celebrate the history of the region as well as the competitors.
“We were looking for things that reflect the local heritage and history,” said Marc Goldman, the sponsor and marketing manager for the Marine Corps Marathon. “While researching, we came across the history of industry here in the Spotsylvania area and the Iron Mine Company.”
The Iron Mines Company was an ironworks founded in 1725 in Germanna, Va., by Alexander Spotswood, Colonial Governor of Virginia. Its use of the Rappahannock River as a key shipping channel brought about much of the development of present-day Spotsylvania County, according to historical references.
“We thought it would be a nice tribute to the Iron Mines Company that played such a huge role in developing this area by switching the name to the Iron Mile Company,” Goldman said. “It helps to reinforce what we’re trying to accomplish here, which is make people appreciate the history of this area.”
There are only 430 runners out of the thousands of runners who have run this event over the last four years that are eligible to be part of the company.
“It’s really cool,” said Joe Pereira, a member of the Iron Mile Company. “I’ve run several Marine Corps Marathons and the inaugural Half Marathon and just decided to do them all.”