Runners participate in the 39th Marine Corps Marathon Oct. 26, 2014. Between 1976 and 2013, the MCM has had 492,680 finishers. (Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall PAO photo by Rachel Larue)
JOINT BASE MYER-HENDERSON HALL, Va. – The Army ran with the Marines during Oct. 26’s Marine Corps Marathon, but after 26.2 miles, two Soldiers shot past all service members and elite civilian marathoners to stand atop the victory podium.
An Army specialist and captain captured the male and female 2014 MCM male and female titles, respectively. Both Spc. Samuel Kosgei and Capt. Meghan Curran were running in their first-ever “People’s Marathon” as Kosgei, who is stationed at Fort Riley, Kan., clipped along the course in a time of two hours, 22 minutes and 12 seconds while Curran, in her 26.2-mile debut, bettered the ladies’ field in 2:51:47.
Both marathon Soldiers made significant moves during the 18th mile of the race. Kosgei broke away from his All-Army Marathon teammates to hunt down mid-race leader Getachew Asfaw and catch him smack dab in the vicinity of the Smithsonian museums and Curran passed Colleen Little near the National Mall mile markers with around eight miles left to run.
“I think the first guy (Asfaw) went too hard at the beginning,” Kosgei said following his finish. “I couldn’t see him at the 16th mile then I started running him down, but I knew I’d get him because I was still feeling good. After I passed him, I knew I had control of the race. He took off early and we let him go. We knew we’d run him down because we work as a team. I knew my guys (teammates) were getting a little bit heavy, so I said, ‘let me go get him’ because it was getting late to catch up. I pushed myself at 16, 17 and, 18, and I got him. I took control after 18 miles.
Kosgei’s co-conspirator in running down Asfaw, Spc. Laban Sialo, was second in 2:23:48.
Curran was a last-minute addition to the female All-Army Marathon Team. She previously ran cross country and track at West Point, but the 2014 MCM victory is the capper on a stellar running career.
“I got asked to run this two weeks ago for the Army,” Curran admitted to reporters at the finish line. “It was a good effort for a first marathon. I just ran as hard as I could and did not do anything dumb. I didn’t want to go out too fast.”
While Curran ran her race through the streets and highways of Washington, D.C. and Virginia, she had the opportunity to watch the men’s drama unfold. By the time she reached the Arlington, Va. finish line, she had a good idea the Army marathoners were going to sweep the men’s, women’s and MCM Armed Forces Challenge.
“The guys looked strong; at all the switch-backs, I could see the guys and yell at them,” Curran said about her catching glimpses of Kosgei’s reeling in of Asfaw.
As for the 10K portion of the race, Mynor Lopez of Falls Church won in a time of 32:39. Sarah Bishop, 32, of Gilroy, Calif., took the MCM10K women’s crown in 37:58. The 2014 10K field was the largest field of MCM 10K runners ever, totaling 7,636 competitors.
The marathon start line witnessed 19,661 starters including celebrity starter/actor Sean Astin and Medal of Honor recipient retired Marine Cpl. William Kyle Carpenter. Carpenter parachuted as part of an aerial team that delivered a 7,800 square-foot American flag to the MCM start line. Carpenter finished the 26.2 miles in 5:07:45, and Astin completed The People’s Marathon in 4:29:11.
New York City resident Tom Davis, 37, was the first to hand cycle into the finish with a time of 1:11:29.
This work, The People’s Marathon Army scores double victory hooah at 39th Marine Corps Marathon, by Jim Dresbach, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.
For more details, visit www.dvidshub.net