For most people, the Marine Corps Marathon on Sunday Oct. 28 means closed bridges and clogged traffic, but for some Arlington residents it’s the culmination of months of intensive work. With bibs to the sold-out marathon hard to get, the Arlington Parks and Recreation Department ran a contest and gave away 10 bibs. The contest closed Aug. 1.
Arlington County, as a sponsor and host of the marathon, is given 10 bibs by the Marine Corp. Marathon organizers. (Bibs are proof of a paid entry fee; they allow the runners on the course.)
Each year the county tries to find a way to give the bibs to the community. Last year, winners were hooked up with trainers and told to blog about the experience. This year, a contest was held on Facebook, with entrants told to ask for a number, send a picture, and write a brief statement on why they deserved a place in the marathon.
Greg Hudson, an organizer of the contest, reported that nearly 60 residents entered. He called the giveaway successful “given the demands of training” needed to run the race. Not just any runner will enter the contest because not just any runner can run a marathon.
David Moon has been running 40 miles a week since July. A former Marine deployed to Iraq for three tours of duty and a winner of the contest, Moon was “extremely excited” to be awarded a bib, he said.
Andy Allen, a Foreign Service officer based in Arlington, won a bib by promising to run the marathon while carrying a gnome, which he trains with on Arlington’s bike and walking paths. Arlington has “tremendous resources for anyone with an active lifestyle,” he said.
This year’s contest came a little late. Many Arlingtonians had already bought places in the marathon. Organizers hope to offer a “win before you buy” contest next year, Hudson said.
This year’s winners:
- Homer Ailstock
- Andy Allen
- Stefanie Beale
- Robert Bowen
- Jeffery Donahoe
- Michael Graham
- David Moon
- Dennis Reilly
- Will Romine,
- Katherine Youngbluth