Thousands of runners take on the Marine Corps Marathon Historic-Half

Marine Corps Marathon Historic-Half
Runners prepare to take on the Marine Corps Marathon Historic-Half in Fredericksburg, Virginia, on Sunday, May 15, 2016. (WTOP/Kathy Stewart) (WTOP/Kathy Stewart)
Marine Corps Marathon Historic-Half
Runners participate in the Marine Corps Marathon Historic-Half in Fredericksburg, Virginia, on Sunday, May 15, 2016. (WTOP/Kathy Stewart) (WTOP/Kathy Stewart)
Marine Corps Marathon Historic-Half
Historic Half celebrity starter Retired Gunnery Sgt. Tawanda “Tee” Hanible from the Fox reality show “American Grit.” (WTOP/Kathy Stewart) (WTOP/Kathy Stewart)
Marine Corps Marathon Historic-Half
Miss Virginia 2015, Savannah Lane sang the National Anthem at the Marine Corps Marathon Historic-Half in Fredericksburg, Virginia, on Sunday, May 15, 2016. (WTOP/Kathy Stewart) (WTOP/Kathy Stewart)
Marine Corps Marathon Historic-Half
The finish line at the Marine Corps Marathon Historic-Half in Fredericksburg, Virginia, on Sunday, May 15, 2016. (WTOP/Kathy Stewart) (WTOP/Kathy Stewart)
(WTOP/Kathy Stewart)
(WTOP/Kathy Stewart)
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Marine Corps Marathon Historic-Half
Marine Corps Marathon Historic-Half
Marine Corps Marathon Historic-Half
Marine Corps Marathon Historic-Half
Marine Corps Marathon Historic-Half

FREDERICKSBURG, Va. — Following endless days of rain, the Marine Corps Marathon Historic-Half runners got a lucky break, even seeing some sunshine through the clouds.

“Marines are amphibious by nature.  We are not afraid of rain,” said Mark Goldman with the Marine Corps Marathon and the Historic-Half.

Nearly 7,000 runners took on the 13.1-mile half marathon and the five-mile distance run, called the “Semper 5ive,” on Sunday.

Goldman said the five-mile distance run was new this year.  He said the runners in this race, which replaces the Semper Fred 5K, get to scale the dreaded, steep Hospital Hill.

Runners from 45 states and eight countries started the race with one of the youngest being 10 years old and the oldest being 84.

Among this year’s celebrity starters was Virginia’s first lady Dorothy McAuliffe who shot the starting gun for the hand cyclers.

“I’m honored to be a part of it,” said McAuliffe, whose son is a Marine. “It’s really an honor and a privilege both to serve as first lady of Virginia but also to be here on behalf of all of our active duty military.  And a special shotout for, Oorah, our Marines,” she said.

Congressman Rob Wittman fired off the starting pistol for the main race.  He was joined by celebrity starter,  retired Gunnery Sgt. Tawanda “Tee” Hanible who lives in Fredericksburg and is a coach on the Fox reality show “American Grit.”

“I’m so excited to be on the other end of it,” said Hanible, who served as a Marine for 19 years, working at the half-marathon during that time, and even running the race twice.

Miss Virginia 2015, Savannah Lane sang the National Anthem before the race to the crowd prepping to take off.

“I’m proud to honor our service members,” Lane said.

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