The Marine Corps marathon featuring a 17.75 kilometer run will go on despite a tragic shooting and accidental deaths that occurred this week.
Three staff members of the Officer Candidate School were involved in a shooting at Taylor Hall Barracks. 25-year-old Sgt. Eusebio Lopez gunned down 19-year-old Lance Cpl. Lance Sara Castromata and 23-year-old Cpl. Jacob Wooley. Military investigators have not announced a motive, although they have not ruled out a domestic situation could have been a contributing factor.
The Marine Corps marathon is also haunted by the specter of a training accident where seven Marines were killed in an explosion in Nevada. Less than 48 hours after this tragedy, marines are coming together for the run.
Gunnery Sgt. Jonathan White explains that the marathon distance is 17.75 because “1775 is when the Marine Corp was created. We are here to celebrate and go on to the Marine Corps Marathon.”
Marine Corporal Aaron Thomas says these tragic events will still haunt every step of the marathon:
“When I heard about it my heart sank. The military brotherhood is strong and it doesn’t matter which branch but it hurts even more when it’s your own branch, the Marine Corps.”
Registration for the 38th Marine Corps Marathon opened today, Wednesday, March 27 at noon EST. Only 30,000 spots are available and in 2012 registration ended fairly quickly, meaning that you should rush to get your spot now. Other popular marathons have ended up switching to lottery systems because of registration system problems due to the overwhelming demand.
Marine Corps Marathon Director Rick Nealis says they hope to avoid such problems:
“To best support the high demand and heavy volume of online traffic, the MCM has been working with the online registration service to test system capacity to avoid delays and server issues. We expect runners will have immediate success on registration day.”
Will you use the 38th Marine Corps Marathon to remember fallen marines?