There was no early morning subway ride for me, no street closures, no crowded start line and no smelly porta-potties. This year’s Marine Corps Marathon and 10K were virtual.
This year’s race was my 7th Marine Corps Marathon 10K, and my first virtual. I completed the full Marine Corps Marathon in 1999 and quickly decided that half marathons and 10K’s (6.2 miles) fit much better into my schedule as a working mother of four. I then completed the MCM 10K in 2007, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016 and today.
I began the 2021 virtual 10K at my doorstep in Bowie, Maryland. I was run/walking to promote women’s health and wellness. I ran/walked to Centennial Park, three-fourths of a mile from my home where I circled the park twice.
I then traveled to Allen Pond Park, another three-fourths of a mile away, where I circled twice. The rest of the miles were completed in the trails that run through two neighborhoods in Bowie — Glen Allen and Covington.
Along the way, I met people like Elaine and Anita who were out for a morning walk at Allen Pond Park. Elaine is a breast cancer survivor. As part of her mission to stay healthy, “I’m here every day if the weather allows,” she said.
Her walking partner, Anita, is also on a mission. “I began walking because my doctor said I was obese,” she said. Walking has helped her shed pounds.
As I headed back to my cul-de-sac to complete the last tenth of a mile, there were no cheering crowds, no one to hand me water or bananas or to put a finisher’s medal around my neck. Just my husband clapping, “Yeah, Steph.”
That’s all I needed.