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Marathon Motivation: What Inspired These Marines to Run 26.2 Miles?

This weekend 23,197 runners charged the District, beat the bridge and took the Iwo to cross the finish line of the 40th Marine Corps Marathon. Among them were members of the USMC Running Team who were not only competing for personal glory; the Armed Forces Championship and Challenge Cup were also at stake. 

The Armed Forces teams had a strong showing at the Marathon. Army 2nd Lt Trevor Lafontaine (2:24:25) won both the Marine Corps Marathon and the Armed Forces Championship, while Marine Corps Capt Christine Taranto (2:53:30) took home a Marine Corps Marathon silver medal and first place in the Women’s Armed Forces Championship. 

Before they set off for the starting line we asked members of the USMC Running Team to share their reasons for running the marathon. Keep reading to find out what keeps them motivated throughout all 26.2 miles.

Cpl Michael Siringer
“I am running the marathon to represent the Marine Corps. As a Marine and as a runner, this is the perfect event for me to represent my unit and all Marines past and present. It is an honor to be a Marine competing at the Marine Corps Marathon. I am also running the Marathon as a part of the All-Marine Running Team. I have the pleasure of being a part of this team and I could not be more proud to run alongside them in the marathon. I am running the marathon for my fellow Marines, my family, former teammates, former athletes I coached, etc. Anyone who has welcomed me into their life I run for. There is nothing greater than running for the people who have supported you your whole life.”

Capt Pedro Rodriguez
“There are several reasons why I’m running the Marine Corps Marathon, but the top three reasons include: first, to set the example and be the example to my students at the University of New Mexico. As the Marine Officer Instructor, I am responsible for their professional development and Officer Candidate School preparation. Secondly, I’d like to demonstrate to my daughters an example of grit. More importantly, not to just finish what you started, but to train harder than most people are willing to go.  Lastly, I run for myself. Being an All-Marine competitor keeps me young and focused!”

Capt Calum Ramm
“This will be my fifth Marine Corps Marathon, and I have yet to find a race or a collective group of people that better exemplifies what it means to run and support those who do. Can't beat it.”

Sgt Richard Powell
“Running has been a distinguishing factor throughout my life and while serving. It's the one thing I can literally take with me everywhere I've been and where I'm going. Individual effort to support a team goal is parallel with everything I've done in the infantry since 2008. If you don't put forward your best, you're forcing someone else to bear the burden and that isn't teamwork. There is strength in numbers, but force only comes from discipline to steadfastly train and put forth your best. Recently I've been doing my longer runs, 22km and 22m, for the 22 veteran suicides. It reminds me to keep in touch with my buddies, check in with them and keep the brotherhood alive as I transition into the civilian sector.”

Capt Kirby Mills
"Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a crown that will last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore, I do not run aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air (1 Corinthians 9:24-27). No, I discipline my body and keep it under control, so that after preaching to others I myself will not be disqualified for the prize."

Do you think you have what it takes run in next year’s Marine Corps Marathon with the All-Marine Running Team? Click here to learn more about intramural, varsity and All-Marine Sports available at your installation.

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