Ethiopian Girma Bedada won the men’s race in today’s 38th annual Marine Corps Marathon and Kelly Calway won the women’s competition before shipping out with the U.S. Army to the Middle East.
Bedada, 33, finished the 26.2-mile (42.2-kilometer) race through downtown Washington in two hours, 21 minutes, 31.27 seconds. About 30,000 runners started the marathon, the world’s largest race without prize money.
“It’s awesome to win this race, representing the United States Army,” she said. “It’s the last thing I’m doing before shipping out, so it means the world to win this race.”
The race had been threatened with cancellation by the 16-day U.S. government shutdown, and runners were only informed 10 days ago that the race would go ahead as scheduled.
The marathon, the fourth-largest U.S. race and ninth in the world, is used by many runners to qualify for the Boston Marathon, the only mass participation race that requires a qualifying time. Last year, 889 runners out of 23,519 finishers in the Marine Corps Marathon qualified for the Boston race.
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