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Base runner finishes near top of Marine Corps Marathon

By Art Powell, Public Affairs Specialist | | November 19, 2009

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When the Marine Corps Marathon got underway Oct. 25 in Washington D.C., Capt. Richard Jennings, Aide de Camp, Marine Corps Logistics Command, was ready to go. While he was one of the 23 local individuals who journeyed to the nation’s capitol to make the run, he was also a member of the 20-person Marine Corps Marathon Team.

“There were approximately 20,900 runners, and I finished 54th with a time of two hours and 45 minutes,” Jennings said. “Our training cycle for an event like this is from four to eight months, and it gets more intense as you get further into the training cycle.”

He said he would like to run from eight to 10 miles per day, but, thanks to the demands of his job, he was able to run only 60-70 percent of that distance prior to the Marine Corps Marathon.

“With running, you either love it or hate it,” he said. “I happen to enjoy it, it’s a stress reliever for me, keeps me organized, healthy and keeps my mind cleared.”

Jennings explained that he began running ‘seriously’ two and a half years ago.

“It feels great to be out there in a marathon. There are other military and professional runners out there, so you’re competing at a different level compared to your everyday average runner who’s out there,” Jennings said.

While he said he did well during the first 23 miles of the course, his per-mile time increased for the last few miles.

The route for the Marine Corps Marathon takes runners through the storied streets of the Capitol, past national landmarks along the bank of the Potomac River to end at the United States Marine Corps War Memorial, better known as the Iwo Jima Memorial.

“For the last half-mile, the streets are lined with hundreds of people and you’re running up to the Iwo Jima Memorial and it’s really inspirational to know the race is done and the people are cheering,” said Jennings.

Along the race route, Jennings and other runners saw Wounded Warriors and wheelchair participants racing to the finish line just like they were.

“It’s emotional when you pass them when you realize what you have and you’re able to go out there and do it. And you realize the sacrifices they’ve made and the drive and determination they have to go out there and complete more than 26 miles, with the limitations they face,” he said. “It’s definitely motivating.”

“Potentially, he’s a very good runner,” said Joe Puleo, head running coach Marine Corps Regional Running Program. “But, like all Marine marathoners, their ability to train depends on their deployments and job assignments. His job required a dramatic change in his training because of all of his travel right before the marathon, but he’s a very good competitor.


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