News: Running with the Corps
Story by Lance Cpl. Antwaun Jefferson
QUANTICO, Va. - More than 650 runners completed the Marine Corps Marathon’s Crossroads 17.75K in Prince William County on Saturday. The distance of the race represented the birth year of the United States Marine Corps. Ending with the last participate crossing the finish line 2 hours 36 minutes later from the start, the race certainly was a challenge for some.
The first person to cross the finish line was Keith Levasseur, 33, from Columbia, Md., who finished in at a time of 1 hour, 5 minutes and 28 seconds.
“The last hill was definitely the most challenging,” Levasseur said. “That’s why I was actually glad to see Marine Corps drill instructors there, motivating me to keep on pushing. Overall as always this was a great run.”
Second place in the men’s section was Jason Kut, 33, a major from Quantico. He finished with a time of 1:6:38. Third place was retired Marine Lt. Col. Alexander Hetherington, 44, from Vienna, who finished with a time of 1:6:34.
In the women’s division, first place went to Amanda Roache, a 24-year-old graduate student from George Mason University and a resident of Manassas. She finished with a time of 1:11:30.
“It was actually a little easier than I expected,” said Roache. “I’m definitely coming out to the next [race] if I can.”
Second place was Melissa Wisner, 28, from Washington, D.C., who finished with a time of 1:19:00. In third place was Emily Eckman, 28, also from Quantico, with a time of 1:21:3.
Acknowledged as the youngest runner was 11-year-old, Austin Kerb from Aldie, Va., with a time of 1:39:1.
“It feels great to finish,” said Kerb. “This was really fun.”
The oldest runner was Won Yub Lee, a 72-year-old from Salamanca, N.Y., with a time of 1:48:21.
Rounding out the awarded winners were the masters runners, runners over age 40 who have competed in more than one MCM event. USMC Maj. Billy Ramsey, 41, from Stafford, finished in 1:09:15, and Heidi Durgan, 46, from Quantico, finished in 1:24:49.
“The mission of the Marine Corps Marathon is to promote physical fitness, generate community goodwill, and showcase the organizational skill of the United States Marine Corps,” said Rick Nealis, the director of the MCM.
There was a colorful cast of characters and VIPs at the event. Some of them were the MCM mascots, Miles and Molly along with Chesty, the United States Marine Corps’ English bulldog mascot. Runners individually took pictures with the mascots and Chesty at the end of the 17.75K. Quantico’s Marine Corps Band performed before the start of the race. There were drill instructors as well to motivate the runners as they made their way up the last hill going toward the finish line.
One of the VIPs who showed up was Marine Corps Base Quantico Sgt. Maj. Laura L. Brown.
“I wanted to support, encourage and cheer on the runners this morning,” said Brown. “Anytime you have a huge Marine Corps emblem out and about, it’s going to be a great day.”