MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
More than 200 service members, families, retired military personnel, civilians and handcyclists participated in the Marine Corps Community Services’ 24th annual Marine Corps Half Marathon aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, Sept. 25.
The race is part of the Marine Corps Grand Prix Series, which offers opportunities for people to compete in a variety of events that test their physical fitness, mental preparedness and athletic skills.
“We developed the series and races so (service members) could have a recreational outlet outside of organized (physical training),” said Mike Marion, the manager at the French Creek Fitness Center aboard the base and the half marathon race coordinator. “It boosts morale, physical fitness, and overall health and wellness.”
The participants ran a 13.1-mile loop course around Camp Lejeune. The race started on Brewster Boulevard and ended in front of the Russell Marine and Family Services Center. The race was open to the public for both experienced and novice athletes.
Everyone who crossed the finish line received a T-shirt, towel and race medal. Awards were given to the top three finishers in each age group, both male and female, top three teams, and top three overall male and female winners.
Peter Metzger II placed first overall for the male runners, finishing with a time of 1:24:54. Lauren Dineen, the first overall female winner, crossed the finish line at 1:38:27.
Competitors also enjoyed a feast of pasta, fruit, and cold beverages, and they were given free massages by contracted massage therapists.
1st Lt. Lindsey Slyman, an air support control officer with Marine Air Support Squadron 1, 2nd Marine Air Wing, traveled from Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point to participate in the race. Slyman, an avid marathon runner, said races like this give her the opportunity to get together with friends and do what she loves most – running.
“I’ll run a race anywhere; I absolutely love running,” said Slyman. “It was really peaceful here. We ran through neighborhoods, by the water, in the shade … it was nice.”
Jennifer Doucet, a military spouse, said she enjoyed the camaraderie and family-friendly atmosphere. She added that the Marine Corps Half Marathon was great preparation for her next big race – the 35th annual Marine Corps Marathon, held Oct. 31 in Washington, D.C.
The next race in the Grand Prix Series is the Beirut Memorial 10K Run, scheduled for Oct. 9 aboard Camp Johnson.
For more information about the Grand Prix Series events, call 910-451-5430 or 910-451-0092.