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    Soldiers from 2ID participate in the first Shadow MCM

    Soldiers from 2ID participate in the first Shadow MCM

    Photo By Lt. Col. Jennifer Bocanegra | Army Maj. Kathryn Pegues, 2nd Infantry Division assessment officer, and Army Maj. Josh...... read more read more



    Story by Maj. Jennifer Bocanegra 

    2nd Infantry Division/ROK-U.S. Combined Division

    UIJEONGBU, South Korea - On Sunday, Army Maj. Josh Eggar, along with eight fellow Soldiers from the 2nd Infantry Division, stepped off for the first shadow Marine Corps Marathon held in Gyeonggi Province, South Korea. This run shadowed the official 39th Marine Corps Marathon, held in Arlington, Va., Oct. 26.

    Runners arrived at the Uijeonbu River Trail before sunrise for registration, followed by a course briefing from Army Maj. Kathryn Pegues. The course consisted of one two-mile loop followed by three eight-mile loops and a 350-yard stretch at the finish line.
    This race was just one of the historic events the 2nd Inf. Div. shares with the Marine Corps. Twice during the “Great War”, the 2nd Infantry Division was commanded by Marine Corps generals, first, Brig. Gen. Charles A. Doyen and later, Maj. Gen. John A. Lejeune.

    Eggar, 37 years old from Charles, Illinois, came in first with a time of 3:11:28. He said his father, 63 years old, still swims competitively and is a source of motivation for him to continue running.

    “People always ask me what I’ll do if I can’t run anymore. I tell them I’ll walk. And if I can’t walk anymore, then I’ll sit down for a bit and stretch, then I’ll walk again,” he said.

    Even though this was his first Marine Corps marathon, he felt he trained sufficiently by running short to medium distances during the week and longer runs on the weekends. Three of his children ran the last half mile with him to cheer him on.

    Eggar was not the youngest runner on the course. Twenty-six year old Army 1st Lt. Brooke Withers, from the 2nd Infantry Division Surgeon’s Office, was the youngest runner on the course. She was the second female to complete the course and the third place runner with a time of 3:37:26.

    The oldest runner on the course was Army Sgt. Maj. Charles Friend, who is 49 years old and calls both Grand Rapids, Michigan, and Hinesville, Georgia, home. He has served in the military for over 30 years and is married with three children. Friend currently works in the division communications and network section. He said his family and soldiers inspired him to participate in the run.

    “I always wanted to do a marathon. Most of the time I have done 10-milers, half-marathons, but I’ve never done a marathon. This race came up and I wanted to do it before I got out of the Army,” Friend said. “The G6 [communications] Soldiers motivate me. They are always pushing me to excel. My Family pushed me the most … especially my youngest one. She loves to run with me, while she is riding her bike.” Friend originally planned to finish the race in 3 hours and 45 minutes. He did not meet his goal exactly; however he completed the course in under four hours and placed fourth among the group of runners.

    For Army Maj. Alyssa Soumoff, who is from Kensington, Maryland, the Marine Corps Marathon is an annual event. She has participated in nine MCMs overall including one previous shadow marathon in Iraq. This year, both Soumoff and her sister ran the MCM. Soumoff completed the race from South Korea with a time of 4 hours and 24 minutes and her sister, Patricia Soumoff, finished the race from Arlington, Virginia, in 3:08:59.

    “This is her ninth consecutive year of running it, so it is truly a family event for us,” Soumoff said.

    According to James Jackson with the Marine Corps Marathon Public Affairs Office, there were seven shadow marathons held in conjunction with this year’s MCM. The run times for shadow run participants are included in the overall MCM race results. Jackson also said shadow marathons are limited to those wanting to run while serving in combat zones but the race commission made an exception for Soldiers serving with the 2nd Infantry Division based on its status as the last remaining forward stationed Infantry Division in the U.S. Army.



    Date Taken: 10.26.2014
    Date Posted: 10.29.2014 05:26
    Story ID: 146409
    Location: UIJEONGBU, 41, KR
    Hometown: GRAND RAPIDS, MI, US
    Hometown: HINESVILLE, GA, US
    Hometown: KENSINGTON, MD, US

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