An Arlington, Virginia, woman is tackling the 26.2 miles of the Marine Corps Marathon after her now-husband suffered a life-threatening health episode just days before their wedding.
Maria Anes told WTOP, “I decided to run the Marine Corps to celebrate his life, and the second chance that the universe has given us.”
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Just a few days before their wedding in April, Anes and her husband, Jesus Marin, welcomed family from Venezuela and Switzerland. That is when Marin began to suffer from severe headaches.
Anes told WTOP he was hospitalized with a brain hemorrhage for two weeks.
“The doctors said, ‘Please don’t cancel your wedding — we can do it here in ICU,’” she said.
They were both planning to run a marathon this year but after the health scare, Marin took a step back from training intensely and instead helped Anes with her goal.
“In my long run, he’s in his bike, helping me with the water and everything. It has been a new way to reconnect,” said Anes about their runs. “We are enjoying the sunrise over the Potomac, running together over the trails. We don’t we take things for granted right now — we are enjoying everything together.”
She last raced the Marine Corps Marathon in 2019. This will be her first long-distance race since.
“The meaning of the Marine Corps Marathon in the city, all the people that have made sacrifices in the line of duty … I now feel a higher connection with them.”
While it will just be her at the starting line this year, Anes said she and her husband are committed to running the Marine Corps Marathon next year together.
“I’m not taking for granted my privilege of being healthy, and having the opportunity to have this time to train,” she said.
WTOP wants to know why you’re planning to run and what is motivating you to train for this event. WTOP will choose some of these stories to feature in an upcoming on-air and online special report. If you or someone you know has an interesting story to tell, tell us about it.