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    Running with a Purpose – 44th Marine Corps Marathon



    Story by Lance Cpl. Paige Verry 

    Marine Corps Base Quantico

    Runners of the 44th Marine Corps Marathon layer themselves in poncho liners and wet weather gear with a purpose in mind along the streets of Washington D.C., Oct. 27, 2019. Runners from all 50 states and more than 60 countries were up before the sun and running in the rain to take part in this historic event.

    Those like Cathy Powers, a published author, speaker, and Gold Star Mother, ran with a purpose larger than 26.2 miles.

    “I didn’t start running until I was 51 years old,” said Powers.

    After the loss of her son Bryce, a senior airman in the United States Air Force, suffered a motorcycle accident that placed him in a coma, and resulted in his death, Powers turned to food as her coping mechanism.
    Nearing 300 pounds, she decided it was time for a transformation. Powers dropped 152 pounds and began running in the name of her son.

    “I began this journey January 1 of this year after winning a half marathon within my age group. I believed I had a gift and that I was meant to use it,” the mother continued with pride in her eyes.

    She has run 860 miles since, meanwhile raising money to sponsor veterans, and to present wreaths at the gravesites of fallen Marines at Arlington National Cemetery.

    “I have run in 48 of the 50 states, and the MCM is my next stop. My last wreath will be presented at the tomb of the unknown soldier," said Powers at the pre race expo.

    The Marine Corps Marathon weekend consists of multiple running events to include the Kids Run, 10k, the 26.2 mile stretch also known as “The Peoples Marathon" and 50k.

    One Wild Mile, also known as the Kids Run, allows runners between the ages of 5 and twelve to participate.
    Marines warmed up the kids at the start line with stretches and exercises, accompanied by an upbeat musical performance by the Quantico Marine Corps Band.
    The national anthem played, and Quantico Ceremonial Platoon marched on the colors – then the kids were off to run their hearts out around the Pentagon parking lot with their own purpose.

    “Why am I running," asked Kaleb Gaspar, a participant of One Wild Mile. "Because I can! And for the watermelon, and the Oreos!”

    New to this years lineup was the 50k, giving runners an ultra-challenge to go four extra course miles.

    “I’ve been trying to win this stupid race since 1991,” exclaimed Michael Wardian, the first place finisher in the 50k race, with steam rolling off his shoulders.

    “My family was here to cheer me on somewhere around mile markers two and five, and Georgetown gave me that little boost I needed to finish. Thanks to the Marine Corps, I’m an ultra-guy.”



    Date Taken: 10.27.2019
    Date Posted: 10.31.2019 10:16
    Story ID: 349486
    Location: D.C., WA, US

    Web Views: 42
    Downloads: 0