MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, NC -- Eight Marines from Camp Lejeune and Marine Corps Air Station New River traveled to California to compete in the Marine Corps Cross Country Championship at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Dec 10.
The North Carolina based team took a close second place in the eight-kilometer race, which was run over a challenging course that followed a loose-gravel path over a very hilly, dessert-like terrain.
“I think we really surprised ourselves,” said 2nd Lt. Leigh Wallace, one of the team’s female runners from MCAS New River. “We all met each other for the first time on Thursday at the airport before we left. It’s amazing how we managed to pull together and compete against some of the best the Marine Corps has to offer.”
The race was open to teams from Marine Corps installations around the world and included runners of varying age and experience.
“We had a Major, a Captain, two Lieutenants, two Staff Sergeants, a Chief Warrant Officer and a Lance Corporal,” said Wallace. “For some of us on the team, it was our first actual cross country race.”
Each team’s score was calculated by taking the times of the four best runners, including the team’s fastest female runner, and adding them together. After all of the calculations had been made, Team Quantico was awarded the 2005 Marine Corps Cross Country Championship trophy while the Marines from North Carolina took a bittersweet second.
“It was very close,” said Maj. Kristin McCann, the Camp Lejeune/New River team captain. “We gave them a run for their money and are looking forward to challenging them again next year.”