WASHINGTON – Thousands of runners dug deep and conquered the 37th Marine Corps Marathon on Sunday.
But it was a first-timer that beat everyone to the finish line.
U.S. Army specialist Augustus Maiyo raced at a blistering 5:21 per mile pace, finishing with a time of 2:20:20.
“To run my first marathon and then win it – that’s one in a million,” Maiyo says.
Maiyo, who was born in Kenya, said the last couple miles were the hardest.
“It was easy until the 23rd mile, then I was like, ‘Oh, what did I get myself into? I want to stop,'” Maiyo says.
He edged out his teammate, Kenneth Foster, by two minutes. The top two runners trained together in Colorado Springs.
“It’s exciting we won as a team,” Maiyo says.
Foster, a two-time Marine Corps Marathoner, says the weather held out in time for the runners to finish.
“The conditions were ideal aside from the wind,” Foster says. “The temperature was great, the crowd support was great. So it’s a lot of fun, a lot of energy. I just wanted to come here to represent the Army and do well.”
Hirut Guanqul, of Ellicott City, Md., was the fastest female runner. She finished with a time of 2:42:03.
Watch Maiyo cross the finish line below:
Not all of the men and women running the 26.2 miles were seasoned marathoners. It was married couple Anne and Greg Brink’s first marathon together. He was running in honor of his father.
“My dad was a Marine,” Greg Brink says. “He passed away this year. So this is for him.”
Pam McBride and her friend Denise Medd drove up from Philadelphia.
“It’s an honor to run the 26.2 miles alongside these men and women in uniform,” McBride says. “They serve our country and I have to tell you that along the course there’s probably no better motivation to keep you going when times get rough.”
The impending storm did not seem to deter any of the participants, including Medd.
“For many of us there was no question,” she says. “We were going to run the marathon, we were going to be here. The Marines have been through much worse. And they’ve fought in much worse conditions. We’ll just worry about getting home later.”
“I don’t always run marathons but when I do, I make sure it’s during a hurricane,” McBride says.