Hi! I'm Captain Cook. My friends at the Washington Humane Society asked me to write about why I love the Marine Corps Marathon! We have a team raising money for WHS and participating in the race on October 25. Find us and say hi.
A little history lesson to begin...
Nearly four decades ago, one man took it upon himself to write a memo to his superior explaining his idea for the Marine Corps Reserve Marathon (MCM). This man was Colonel Jim Fowler.
He wanted to use this marathon as a way to promote community goodwill, showcase the Marine Corps, serve as a recruiting tool, and to give local Marines an opportunity to qualify for the legendary Boston Marathon.
Under the direction and leadership of Col. Fowler and General Michael Ryan, the first MCM was held November 7, 1976 with 1,175 participants. The race began and ended at the Marine Corps War Memorial. Fitting, wouldn't you agree?
Since the first race in 1976, the MCM has not only made a name for itself as the fourth largest U.S. marathon and the ninth largest in the world, but it stands as the largest marathon in the world without prize money, earning it the nickname, "The People's Marathon."
Over the years, the popularity of the marathon has grown and has continuously set records for its entries; most recently, with more than 30,000 in two hours and 41 minutes.
This year, the Marine Corps Marathon hits close to home because my dad is a captain in the United States Marine Corps and needless to say, the Corps runs in my blood. I'm so proud to support the MCM this year and every year, not only for the men and women who come together to participate in the race but, most importantly, for the men and women who serve this country every day. It takes guts to do what my dad and so many others do.
So when you pin on that number and lace up your running shoes this Sunday, remember why you're running. Yes, you want to get your best time possible; yes, you want to accomplish this amazing feat of finishing a marathon; yes, you want to qualify for Boston. But remember those who can't run beside you. Those who were injured in the line of duty, those who are serving overseas counting down the days until they're home with their families, and those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice while serving this country.
That's who you're running for. True American Heroes - people like my dad, my hero.
Now here's my advice: make sure you stretch, get lots of rest Saturday night, enjoy that carb-loaded dinner and, as my dad always says, "hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!" Good luck runners, make us proud!
To donate to a specific runner, or to donate to our entire team, please go to our website. We'll see you there!