Marine Corps Marathon
October 31, 2004
Race Report by Bob Dolphin
It's always a treat to run the Marine Corps Marathon. The famous national
monuments and buildings inspire me as we run past them. It was my fifth
run there, and Lenore and I enjoy seeing race director Rick Nealis and his
staff whom we know personally.
Because I had just turned 75 years of age, I was given bib number "75" for
this special day. The 70+ age division was divided into a 70-74M category
and a 75+M group. I was most appreciative of this thoughtfulness.
Our thanks go to Jim and Peg Coleman of Boyds, MD, for hosting us before
the marathon. We enjoyed the train ride with them to Washington, DC, and
the visit to the Capitol Building, the Botanic Garden and the new National
Museum of the American Indian.
Fenny Roberts of Salem, OR, and Jim Scheer of Vancouver, WA, were our
companions for four days while we were staying in Alexandria, VA. They
hadn't run the race before, so it was a pleasure to give them a drive-by
tour of our nation's capital. We spent time together at the Hyatt Hotel
in Crystal City, VA, for the packet pickup, Expo, a race directors
breakfast and attendance at presentations by Rick Nealis, Jeff Galloway,
John "The Penguin" Bingham, and other well-know speakers.
The weather was unseasonably warm this year with temperatures of 70
degrees at the start of the marathon and 80 degrees at the finish. The
thin clouds that were present didn't offer any protection from solar
radiation, and there was an elevated humidity, as well. Shade, breezes
and riverside winds of 15 mph helped to moderate the heat. Every two
miles or so, friendly Marines and other volunteers manned well-stocked
tables and handed out cups of water and a sportsdrink so everyone could
replace fluids and electrolytes. Even so, 45 runners were hospitalized
for heat exhaustion. This was four times the number hospitalized from
last year's race when heat only was a problem in the later miles.
The Marine Corps Marathon (MCM) does not offer prize money, but,
nevertheless, the event draws elite runners. Running in fourth or fifth
position for the first 24 miles, Retta Feyissa, 28, of Bronx, NY, had the
strongest finish. He passed the leaders from the 24 mile mark to midway
into the 25th mile to finish in 2:25:35. This native of Ethiopia was the
first African-born winner of the MCM. His running companion for most of
the race was Terrance Shea, 30, of Rochester, MI. He lost some ground in
the last mile and finished in second place with a time of 2:25:57.
The first serviceman to finish was Christopher Juarez, 34, of San Antonio,
TX. He's an Air Force major who was the MCM 2002 winner. He placed third
with a 2:26:03. Craig Vanderoef, 29, of Seattle placed 22nd overall with
a 2:39:47 and was the first finisher from the Pacific Northwest.
Captain Mary Kate Bailey, 29, of Arlington, VA, (stationed at the U.S.
Marine Base, Quantico, VA) won the women's race. She took the lead in the
15th mile and ran alone to finish in 2:48:31, a personal record by 14
minutes! In second place was Kim Fager, 34, a Navy flight surgeon from
San Diego, CA, who ran a 2:51:17. Suzanne Clemmer, 24, of Gastonia, NC,
was third (2:59:11).
The first woman finisher from the Pacific Northwest was Julie Groo, 40, of
Sumner, WA (3:21:29). Davod Swain of Wake Forest, NC, won the wheelchair
division with a time of 2:33:58.
The finish order of the Armed Forces Competition by team composite times
was as follows: (1) Marines, 10:38:06; (2) Air Force, 10:52:49; (3) Air
Force, 11:09:57; and (4) Navy, 11:12:41.
In the long-running Challenge Cup, the British Royal Marine Team won with
a 7:46:56......besting the U.S. Marine Team's 7:49:34. At the post-race
party I talked with Marc Croadale, 39, of Manchester, England. He
finished 8th overall and was the first Royal Marine with a time of
My race went reasonably well. I shed my singlet early in the day, drank a
lot of water and sports drink, and frequently doused water on my head and
upper body. If there was shade on one side of the street, that's where I
ran. I didn't feel bad, but I could tell that the weather was slowing my
pace by about a minute per mile. I walked only the steepest grades and at
the aid stations....and kept going. The last two miles weren't easy
because of the upgrades and the lack of shade and wind, so it was a
pleasant sight to see the Iwo Jima Memorial near the finish line. I
crossed the mat at 4:56:49 (chip time of 4:56:37) as the 8,544th finisher
of 16,000 and 2nd of 14 in the 75+M division.
On the course, my Marathon Maniac singlet caused some comments, so I told
the inquirers that there were ten more "maniacs" in the race......and to
check out www.marathonmaniacs.com for more information about the club.
With thousands of participants in this marathon, it's often a coincidence
and always a pleasure to see some of our friends and acquaintances in
various places during the weekend. Mike Shiach of Bainbridge Island, WA,
was easy to spot at the Expo.....wearing his 2004 YAKIMA RIVER CANYON
MARATHON (YRCM) T-shirt. We met Ray DeFrees, of Fairfax, VA, who runs the
MCM every year carrying a large U.S. flag. "The Dollies" from Texas were
back, so we took our annual pictures with them with their "real" clothes
first and later on when they were wearing their patriotic costumes.
During the race I visited with Steve Boone, secretary of the 50 States
Club, from Humble, TX. He reminded me that he's going to be running the
next YRCM on April 2, 2005, his 56th birthday! His wife Paula and our
friend Rick Worley of Kingwood, TX, were at the MCM, too. They'll join
Steve for his Washington state birthday run.
Congratulations to Jay Jacob Wind, 54, of Arlington, VA, who ran his 100th
marathon on October 31st. He's eligible to join the 100 Marathon Club
North America!! Don Lang, a 100 Marathon Club member from Glendale, CA,
finished his 377th marathon that day with plans to become a FOUR TIME
FINISHER of 50 States & DC the next week at the Nifty Fifty Marathon in
It was good to see our friend Todd Byers of Long Beach, CA, several times
during the weekend. When I talked with him in the recovery area and
looked at his bare feet, I realized that he had run the 26.2 miles of warm
pavement without shoes!! There aren't many runners who can do that.
We saw Rachel Ridgway of Ijamsville, MD, again. She's the race director
of the Frederick Marathon in Maryland and had just completed her 15th
marathon. We met Lee Weinhold, a 50 State finisher, in the VIP tent. He
remembered our inaugural YRCM where he won a "Nuts to You" award.
The highlight of the day was meeting Michael Reagan, radio commentor and
son of the late President Ronald Reagan, in the VIP tent as he was
waiting for his wife Colleen to finish her fifth marathon. We took
pictures and visited for awhile. He was impressed that this was my fifth
marathon in five consecutive weekends.
At the post-race party, we had an interesting conversation with the
marathoning Hartwigs from Salem, OR. Ron, 60, ran a 4:08:23 while
Charlotte, 57, came in 4th in her age division (55-59F) with a 3:58:17.
This adventuresome couple are making plans to run marathons on all seven
In 2005 there will be a celebration of the 30th anniversary of the Marine
Corps Marathon. One feature will be to lift the present cap of about
23,000 to 30,000. Registration will be in early April next year on a
first-come/first-served basis. One reason for reversing the starting
direction this year was to test the feasibility of handling this number of
runners on a course with wider streets in the early miles. The MCM
Runners Expo will be located in the armory in Washington, DC......where
there will be a lot of parking, and the packet pickup lines will be
Our thanks and appreciation go to Rick Nealis, his staff of Mark Goldman,
Connie Sayers, Heidi Baise and others....plus the many Marine volunteers
who make the Marine Corps Marathon function like a military operation that
is well-planned and executed. As always, we enjoyed listening to Ken
Berger, the "Voice of the Marine Corps Marathon," with the pre-race
introductions and announcements and later at the finish line.
The Marine Corps Marathon on October 31, 2004, is a race that I'll
remember as "extra special." Having spent six and a half years in the
Marine Corps, it was great to celebrate my 350th marathon running with the
troops and with a lot friends at the 29th annual MARINE CORPS MARATHON.
Written by Bob Dolphin
Partial Results of the Marine Corps Marathon
(100 MC = member of the 100 Marathon Club North America)
3:22:53 Doug MacLean, 52, Mercer Island, WA
3:36:22 Ruben Contreras, 50, Stanwood
4:04:59 Ted Coulson, 56, Seattle, WA
4:21:43 Steve Monk, 46, Waunakee, WI
4:25:38 Stan Neumann, 65, Timonium, MD, 100 MC
4:29:45 Marie Bartolette, 47, Finleyville, PA
4:32:28 Mike Shiach, 54, Bainbridge, Island, WA
4:55:04 Kevin Brosi, 49, Flower Mound, TX
4:56:37 Bob Dolphin, 75, Renton, WA, 100 MC, 2nd 75+M
5:23:12 Fenny Roberts, 52, Salem, OR
5:23:12 Jim Scheer, 62, Vancouver, WA, 100 MC
Some Other Finishers
3:05:30 Jay Jacob Wind, 54, Arlington, VA
3:58:12 Francesco Criniti, 60, Philadelphia, PA
3:58:17 Charlotte Hartwig, 57, Salem, OR, 4th 55-59F
4:08:23 Ron Hartwig, 60, Salem, OR
4:08:47 Lee Weinhold, 56, Stewartville, MN
4:12:48 George Banker, 54, Oxon Hill, MD
4:14:06 Laura Yasso, 44, Center Valley, PA
4:29:20 Michael Bouril, 75, Bristow, VA, First 75+M
4:51:40 Cliff Burgess, 66, Hewitt, TX, 100 MC
4:54:00 Todd Byers, 41, Long Beach, CA, 100 MC
5:03:35 Kim Smith, 43, Seattle, WA
5:10:48 Tom Adair, 63, Alpharetta, GA, 100 MC
5:21:35 Steve Boone, 55, Humble, TX, 100 MC
5:39:14 Rick Worley, 57, Kingwood, TX, 100 MC
5:41:58 Colleen Reagan, 53, Sherman Oaks, CA
5:48:49 Jim Simpson, 62, Huntington Beach, CA, 100 MC
5:49:14 Paula Boone, 38, Humble, TX, 100 MC
5:53:59 Eugene Bruckert, 69, Arlington, IL
5:59:11 Ray Scharenbrock, 71, South Milwaukee, WI, 100 MC
6:12:08 Rachel Ridgway, 33, Ijamsville, MD
6:14:41 Gene Bandler, 75, East Meadow, NY, 100 MC, 8th 75+M
6:43:04 Don Lang, 70, Glendale, CA, 100 MC
6:49:12 Ray DeFrees, 62, Fairfax, VA