The Last MCM Groundpounder

Al Richmond
Al Richmond passing the 16 mile mark of the 2016 Marine Corps Marathon. Photo: MarathonFoto


Update: Richmond retired from running the Marine Corps Marathon before the 43rd race, set for Oct. 28, 2018.

Elisa Zwanenburg is in awe of her father, as he nears 80 years old.

“He’s very determined,” she said. “He’s very competitive. It may be the Marine in him.”

Determined is one way to describe it. For over 40 years, Alfred “Al” Richmond has laced up his running shoes and competed in every Marine Corps Marathon in Northern Virginia. He is now the last “Groundpounder” to have completed every race.

“Honestly, I just didn’t want to be the next one that dropped out,” he joked. “It kind of ended up being a rite of fall.”

Richmond doesn’t gloat, nor does he relish in this distinction. It doesn’t seem ingrained in his identity, it’s just fact: He’s the last of the elite group.

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