Steven Henry crosses the finish line of the Marine Corps 17.75K. (Marine Corps Marathon)
Editor's note: Marine Corps Marathon officials later disqualified the winner of the Marine Corps 17.75K due to an illegal bib transfer. See the full story here.
It was a stimulating run through the twists and turns of Prince William Forest Park on Saturday for the 1,749 finishers in the Marine Corps 17.75K held in Prince William County, Va. Former Army runner Steven Henry of Odenton, Md., met the challenge while winning the Marine Corps-themed, 11.03-mile event in 1:04:25.
“I guess I am in a lot better shape than I thought I was,” Henry said as he completed the 17.75K, named for the founding date of the Marine Corps. “It was challenging and very tough but I really enjoy it,” he added.
Henry, 38, is a retired infantry soldier and five-time Marine Corps Marathon finisher who previously completed the marathon while a member of the Army’s running team.
Finishing just over a minute behind was Jeremy Lynch, 33 of Springfield, Va., who placed second (1:05:08). “This is one event that
captures the essence of the Marine Corps because it’s one where you have to take hill after hill and meet the challenge just like a Marine,” Lynch said.
“This was phenomenal,” agreed Marine Corps Marathon Hall of Fame member and retired Marine Lt. Col. Alex Hetherington of Vienna, Va., after completing the event in 1:05:46 and taking third place.
Women runners were eager to charge the hills too, as Kelly Swain, 28, of Arlington, Va., finished first among the ladies in 1:14:02. “I thought the course was tough and at one point around mile five I thought I was tanking, but then I really picked up my pace,” she said. “I really want to run the Marine Corps Marathon.”
After finishing the event, Marine Corps 17.75K participants received a “guaranteed access” pass enabling them to register for the sold-out 39th Marine Corps Marathon on Oct. 26.
Holly Fleming, 25, traveled from Bloomsbury, N.J., to run today’s event and capture her place in the 39th Marine Corps Marathon. “I got my dad to run today, and he’s going to run the Marine Corps Marathon with me too,” she said.
Fleming finished the 17.75K in 1:17:28 with her father, William, expressing his pride as Holly received her award for 2nd place.
“Although I have done three Marine Corps Marathons myself, Holly is a much better runner and much faster than me,” he said.
Displaying pride for the brotherhood, Marine Lt. Col. Kristin McCann took 3rd place (1:21:25). “I think we [the Marines] beat the hills today but they put up a good fight,” admitted McCann, a member of the Marine Corps running team. McCann has run with the Marine team in every Marine Corps Marathon since 2001.
Marine Corps 17.75K participants who received guaranteed access at the event must register for the 39th Marine Corps Marathon by midnight April 14 at www.marinemarathon.com.
Tami Faram is public relations coordinator for the Marine Corps Marathon.