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Marine Corps Marathon Medal Ranks #1 In U.S.

2009 Finisher Medal Design Captures Image, Intent of the “The People’s Marathon”

QUANTICO, VA (June 23, 2010) - The Marine Corps Marathon (MCM) 2009 finisher medal is ranked number one among U.S. marathon medals, according to the May-June issue of Marathon & Beyond magazine. In the article, “Don’t Meddle With Tradition” written by Paul Gentry, the MCM medal has been recognized for best capturing the intent, style and image of the race.

Gentry, a marathon runner and U.S. Navy veteran, participated on the 11-member medal evaluation panel made up of runners who boast a combined 2,250 marathons. Gentry says the panel began selecting medal designs from about 200 different U.S. marathons, finally narrowing their choices to the top 25 finisher medals to be featured in the magazine.
Marathon & Beyond “had a very experienced panel, so I believe that maturity and marathon experience naturally led to a preference to the Marine Corps symbol, rich in tradition,” says Gentry. “That symbol was prominent and well-crafted onto the very classy, heavy medal.”

The top-ranked 2009 MCM medal weighs nearly 6 ounces. The 4 mm-thick, 3.5 x 3.5 silver medallion consists of a three-dimensional Eagle, Globe and Anchor, the symbol of the United States Marine Corps. Appearing across the medal’s globe is a light blue unfurled banner featuring the text “34th Marine Corps Marathon Finisher.” The 34th MCM medal was presented to 21,405 finishers.

“The Marine Corps Marathon medal captures the power and majesty of the Corps,” says Rich Benyo, Marathon & Beyond Editor. “For race day, the medal seems to acknowledge that you, the runner, were one with us in your efforts to excel. It’s a very emotional approach that mirrors the somber, yet welcoming approach, the race offers to its participants.”

Thirty thousand participants are registered for the 2010 MCM that begins in Arlington, VA, runs through the nation’s capital and crosses over the Potomac into Virginia for the iconic finish at the Marine Corps War Memorial in Rosslyn. As each participant crosses the finish line, a U.S. Marine lieutenant will present them with the 35th anniversary MCM medal.

“The commemorative 35th Marine Corps Marathon medal design has not yet been unveiled, but it too will reflect the longstanding traditions of the United States Marine Corps and will celebrate three-and-a-half decades of running “The People’s Marathon,’” says Rick Nealis, MCM Race Director.

The 35th MCM will occur on Sunday, October 31, starting at 8 a.m.

Voted the best marathon for families, the Marine Corps Marathon honors the dedication, sportsmanship and patriotism of its participants. Runners from all walks of life participate in the largest marathon not to offer prize money, earning the name “The People’s Marathon.” The MCM is the fourth largest marathon in the United States and the eighth largest in the world.

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