By Brenda Barrera
May 20, 2012
For the Washington Running Report
There was much to celebrate at this year’s fifth anniversary of the Marine Corps Marathon Historic Half held in Fredericksburg, VA on May 20, 2012. The event has grown every year and had close to 6,000 finishers, compared to 3,800 from the inaugural 2008 event. For starters, it was a commanding victory for hometown favorite Bert Jacoby who came to the starting line with one goal: to win. And that he did in 1:11:33, almost three minutes ahead of defending champion Wyatt Boyd, from Washington, DC, who finished in 1:14:27. Brandon Dick, 25, from Fredericksburg took the final podium spot with his 1:15:36 finish.
What a far cry from Jacoby’s 2011 race experience when he was the very last person to cross the start line and he raised money for charity for each person he passed.
“This time I was focused,” smiled Jacoby. “Time did not matter; it was all about place.” He stayed at the finish area with his mother who used her iPhone and the MCM Runner Tracking options to follow his sister, Anne. She completed the race in 1:35:27.
Next up for the Jacoby is a move to Charlottesville for graduate school at the end of the summer. “I’m looking forward to training with the group out of Ragged Mountain Running.”
Courtney Chapman, 28, is juggling a heavy load at medical school in Norfolk, VA and yet still able to improve her race times. Chapman is best described as a tough competitor with a wide smile that is easy to spot whether she is clipping along at a fast pace or flying up a hill. And fly she did at the famous hospital hill on her way to a 1:21:56 victory. That is a big leap from her 2010 MCM Historic Half race when she posted a 1:31:10 finish.
Arlington’s Katherine Marden, 31, fresh off last weekend’s Ragnar Relay Cape Cod (“I had the longest leg”) finished in 1:26:44. She was followed by Marine Capt. Erin Demchko, 27, from Dumfries, VA who was pleased with her 1:29:02 finish.
“The hill wasn’t as bad as the hype,” said Demchko, “I had a riot and got a PR!”
Top masters division finishers were Lt. Col. Thomas Blackwell, 41, of Vienna, VA in 1:19:58 and Alexandria’s Stefani Watterson, 42, of Alexandria, VA who crossed the line in 1:33:41.
Mike Collotta, 58, (left) from Washington, DC has been running races for more than two decades and still finding interesting events like this one. “I especially liked the historical parts of the course,” said the DC Road Runners member. “The Marines provided extra inspiration.”
Deanna Cabrey, running for Team Fisher House, was pleased with her finish of 1:41:43. “I surpassed my goal of running a 7:45-8:10 pace,” said the 20-year-old college student. Cabrey started supporting the Fisher House when she was just ten and began giving 10% of her allowance to the charity.
Wedding bells will be ringing soon for John Swift and Sarah Longava (right) from Bristow, VA who crossed the finish line together just under two hours. Swift presented her with an engagement ring. And she said, “Yes!”
NBC’s “Biggest Loser” is a reality show about overweight contestants trying to lose weight and also adopt a healthy lifestyle. It has inspired not only contestants and viewers, but also First Lady Michelle Obama.
A highlight for many runners was to share the field with two familiar faces from the hit show. Contestant Lauren Lee, 27, from Poolesville MD, (right) sporting her yellow “Biggest Loser” tank top finished in 2:14:33 and the TV show’s host, Alison Sweeney, wearing bib#1,not only had duties firing the starting pistol but jumped in and ran 2:05:30.
“The show really makes you believe in the human spirit and overcoming whatever your obstacles,” said Sweeney who looked unfazed and fresh after the uphill finish. “I never would have dreamed of doing this [half marathon] before the Biggest Loser,” smiled the host. As with many finishers she was pleased that she had beaten her projected time.
New Course Records Set in Semper Fred 5K
Kenyan Reuben Mwei, 26, living in Lithia Springs, GA is planning on racing the MCM 10K this fall and wanted to check out the “Marine Corps” experience. Not familiar with the course, Mwei picked a good competitor to tuck behind, defending champion Jordan Zwick.
“I was off my goal of 14 minutes,” said Mwei, an Academic All-American at Adams State. He crossed the finish line in 15:27, beating the 2010 course record of 15:59. Arlington’s Zwick, 25, was anxious to stretch out his legs having driven 11 hours from Rochester, NY the night prior. He finished with an impressive 15:36. Stephen Harrison, 23, from Fredericksburg was third in 16:19.
Reigning women’s champion Molly Roohi should probably listen to her coach, or maybe not. The advice for this day was not to race but Roohi did it anyway. It paid off as she clocked 19:03, setting a new course record (old course record 19:37 from 2009) and knocking 38 seconds off her 2011 time. Masters standouts Michelle Dolby, 44, from Fredericksburg finished next in 20:57 and Alexandria’s Kristin McCann, 40, took third place in 21:49.