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An Emotional Marine Corps Marathon

Brenda Brundage

Two weekends ago I had the privilege of running the Marine Corps Marathon.  I ran with my running partner Ellie.  Together we have run over 20 marathons together.  Ellie’s dad is a retired Marine, Major Frank Ferrante, and so we ran the marathon in his honor with his picture on the back of our shirts. He traveled to Washington DC to watch us run.

We arrived several days early so that we could sell the RooSport at the Marathon expo.  We had a great time talking to thousands of runners, and anticipating race day.

Needless to say it was an emotional experience from the start.  As we approached the start line, paratroopers jumped from planes and floated through the air carrying American flags.  It was a moving experience.  We lined up with the other 30,000 plus runners.  As we rounded the first corner, a huge flag was suspended from a crane hanging down for us to run under.  We cheered on wheelchair athletes struggling to climb hills, and high fived marines who lined the course.  We were overcome with emotions at mile 12 when the course was lined with hundreds of pictures of fallen Marines, one after another.  It was sobering to realize the sacrifice that is made on a daily basis for our freedom.  The race took us downtown DC, past the national monuments and at mile 25 we passed Arlington National Cemetary. The white headstones were another reminder of lives lost in our behalf. Crowds lined the course for most of the race, and the Marines were always present.  Crossing the finish line is always an emotional experience, but more so with this race.  At the conclusion I faced a Marine who stood at attention and placed the medal around my neck, and then stepped back and saluted me.  I could not hold back my tears and thanked him for his service.  What an experience!

I have 3 son in laws that serve or have served in the Armed Forces. My father was in the Korean war.  I solute all of those who served or have served on this Veterans Day.  I have run lots of Marathons but never one so filled with emotions over patriotism for our country.  I am proud to be an American, and thanks to all who have given me that right!

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