“The Marine Corps Marathon is the one to run. This is a really cool marathon” — Cara Donley, who finished the race in 3:26:16.
For Brooke Sydnor Curran, running the 41st Marine Corps Marathon was a milestone: her 100th marathon for charity since founding the nonprofit RunningBrooke Fund. For Grace Episcopal kindergarten teacher Cara Donley, the Oct. 30 race represented a different milestone.
“I actually bested my old PR by two seconds,” said Donley of setting a new personal marathon record of 3 hours, 26 minutes and 16 seconds. “This was only my third marathon and it was quite warm — not ideal for runners. But I stayed hydrated and was happy with the results.”
Donley’s time placed her 70th among female finishers and in the top 500 of the more than 30,000 runners that took to the starting line. A relative newcomer to marathons, Donley, 26, credited her success in less than optimal conditions to her training with the Pacers running team.
“I joined the Pacers running team to train this last year,” said Donley, who also coaches crew at T.C. Williams High School. “Even though we run at vastly different paces, the training together and being held accountable every week really helped me.”
Donley and her sister Colleen, who ran the course in 4:16:06, were cheered on by numerous family members throughout the race, including her father, former mayor Kerry Donley.
“Everyone split up into different spots,” Donley said with a laugh. “It was neat seeing someone every couple of miles to cheer me on. Divide and conquer — that’s the Donley way.”
Donley and Curran were among more than 1,000 Alexandrians who took part in the marathon and 10K races.
Taking top honors was Army Spc. Samuel Kosgei, 32, from Junction City, Kansas, who won his second MCM with an overall time of 2:23:53. Kosgei won the 2014 race and is the sixth MCM finisher to be a two-time champion.
Arlington’s Desta Beriso Morkama, 31, finished in second place with time of 2:24:29 with Oscar Caron Santos, 33, of Mexico, taking third in 2:25:03.
Top male finishers from Alexandria included Sergio Pedraza Gonzalez, 34, (2:41:12), Ruben Garcia Gomez, 45, (2:52:07) and Patrick Murray, 44, (2:55:25).
Women marathoners were led by Perry Shoemaker, 45, of Vienna, who finished in 2:51:48. Army Capt. Meghan Curran, 30, of Denver, captured second place finishing in 2:53:19 with Arlington’s Nicole Irving, 24, taking third place in 2:53:32.
From Alexandria, the top female finishers were Danielle Ward, 30, (3:08:44), Angelica Valdez, 30, (3:10:11), and Skylar Musa, 24, (3:11:32).
The MCM10K race yielded 5,068 finishers with Geophery Mills, 28 of Nokesville, Va., winning the men’s division in 38:01 followed by Jared Dashevsky, 21, of Cherry Hill, N.J. (38:26) and Exavier Watson, 37, of Germantown, Md., in 38:38. Eleven-year-old Caleb Hymans of Annandale finished fourth in 38:54.
Top among Alexandrians were Douglas Boorstein, 35, (44:49), Matt Aloisi, 39, (46:52), and Brandon Boucher, 32, (47:36).
Allison Parks, 20, of Annapolis, captured the overall MCM10K title for women finishing the 6.2-mile event in 41:59. Marey Scully, 29, of Hastings, Minn., took second place (42:25) and Diana Castro, 41, of Clarksburg, Md., completed the course in 43:01, taking third.
The leaders among local women were Jenna Scholz, 31, (47:05), Andrea Vela, 32 (47:32), and Melissa Roy, 47, (47:44).
Next up for Curran is the Richmond Marathon on Nov. 12. Donley qualified for the Boston Marathon and will run that race next spring.
“I’m excited to run Boston but I tell everyone that the Marine Corps Marathon is the one to run,”
Donley said. “To be running alongside our military, veterans and amputees and to have Marines cheering everyone on the entire way is an incredible feeling. This is a really cool marathon.”
For complete race results visit www.marinemarathon.com.