Thousands of runners take on Marine Corps Historic Half

Many runners consider this half marathon to be practice for the full Marine Corps Marathon. (WTOP/Hank Silverberg)

WASHINGTON – Thousands of runners and spectators braved clouds and rain for the Marine Corps Historic Half marathon through historic Fredericksburg Sunday morning.

Many runners used the event, now in its sixth year, as a dress rehearsal for the full Marine Corps Marathon, held in October. Some were inspired to participate because of what happened in Boston. Some were just running the 13.1-mile course for the fun of it.

After the Boston Marathon bombings, security for the event was tight, with more dogs than usual, and only clear containers were allowed.

Rick Nealis, the race’s director, says the event’s organizers paid more attention to safety and medical response plans. Spectators were also encouraged to watch and listen for anything that seemed suspicious.

“Over the last couple of days, people have come forward and said, ‘You know, I see something,’ where before they might have just walked on,” he says.

Nealis says they are also working on tighter security for the full marathon.

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