Marine Corps Marathon, 2007, the 32nd Running: The Dreamer Finishes
There were three 14’ers we could find.
No, we were not taking in mountain scenery in Colorado. Charmaine and Your Business Blogger were looking for the youngest finishers at yesterday’s 32nd running of the Marine Corps Marathon.
Billed as “The Peoples’ Marathon” a runner had to be among the first 30,000 to enter. The run takes place from the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia ending at the Flag Raisers at the Iwo Jima memorial.
We three had been following a work-out regiment for months, following the military dictum that the more one sweats in training, the less one bleeds in combat.
No one is bleeding, but everything still hurts. Charmaine didn’t cry as much this time.
The marathon was run with, well, military precision. The Marines run a class act, having some experience with logistics and human relations and victory.
Challenge Coin from USAA The MCM is expensive. To help underwrite the event businesses lined up. Sponsors included CVS/Caremark; Wal*Mart; Brooks; CISCO, Saturn, Arlington, Virginia; Aetna; AT&T; BAE Systems; Bar Clif,; CROCS, Crystal City: EDS; jetBlue Airways; Maggiano’s Little Italy; Rosslyn; symantic; UPS; VSP; The Washington Post; Sodexho: Einstein Bros Bagels: Her Sports; News Channel 8; ABC 7; HOT 99.5; BIG 100.3; DC 101; 97.1 WASH-FM; 98. WMZQ; SportsTalk 980.
But the best SWAG was from USAA.
Thank you (foot)notes:
About 20,600 of the 30,000 registrants finished. Thank you for not asking our time…
History of the Challenge Coin at the jump.
(By Mrs. Jeannie MeFaddin)
During World War l, American volunteers from all parts of the country filled the newly formed flying squadrons. Some were wealthy individuals attending colleges such as Yale and Harvard, who quit in mid-term to join the war. In one squadron, a wealthy lieutenant ordered medallions struck in solid bronze carrying the squadron emblem for every member of his squadron. He carried his medallion in a small leather such about his neck.
Shortly after acquiring the medallions, this pilot’s aircraft was severely damaged by ground fire. He was forced to land behind enemy lines and was immediately captured by a German patrol. In order to discourage his escape, the Germans took all his personal identification, except for the small leather pouch around his neck. In the meantime he was taken to a small French town near the front. Taking advantage of a bombardment that night, he donned civilian clothes and escaped. However, he was without personal identification.
He succeeded in avoiding German patrols and reached the front lines. With great difficulty he crossed no-mans land. Eventually, he stumbled into a French outpost. Unfortunately, saboteurs had plagued the French, in this sector of the front. They sometimes masqueraded as civilians and wore civilian clothes. Not recognizing the young pilot’s American accent, the French thought him to be a saboteur, and made ready to execute him. Just in time, be remembered his leather pouch containing the medallion. He showed the medallion to his would-be executioners. His French captors recognized the squadron insignia on the medallion and delayed long enough for him to confirm his identity. Instead of shooting him, they gave him a bottle of wine.
Back with his squadron, it became a tradition to insure that all members carried their medallion or coin at all times. This was accomplished through a challenge in the following manner:
A challenger would ask to see the coin. If the challenged member could not produce his coin, he was required to purchase a drink of choice for the member who had challenged him. If the challenged member produced his coin, then the challenging member was required to pay for the drink. This tradition continued through the war and for many years after while surviving members of the squadron were still alive. The Air Force proudly continues this tradition today.