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Marine Corps Marathon to Run in Iraq

Marine Corps Marathon Forward offers deployed military members chance to earn coveted title of MCM Finisher

QUANTICO, VA - The Marine Corps Marathon, in conjunction with the Marines of the Multi National Force West, announced today the first-ever satellite running of the annual event. Touted as the Marine Corps Marathon Forward, service members from throughout Iraq will gather to participate in the 26.2 mile test of endurance in 80 degree temperatures. More than 6,000 miles from the Arlington, VA finish line, the deployed Marines will earn their place as a MCM finisher by completing the event in the Al Anbar province.

"More than 22,000 Marines are deployed to the area of operations, and even more from other branches," said Rick Nealis, MCM Race Director. "Even during lengthy and sometimes stressful deployments, they continue to embody the values of physical excellence and fitness. The MCM Forward offers them a training goal at no cost to the individual runner, to keep motivated while proudly serving our country far from home."

More than just lending its name, the MCM is contributing to the operation of MCM Forward. The MCM will provide event guidance and logistical support including race bibs, t-shirts, medals, awards and patches. Official finishers of the MCM Forward will receive a medal upon their completion, plus a certificate and finisher CD. MCM sponsors have also pledged to support the event by sending Jelly Belly Sport Beans, ZonePerfect bars, Tylenol 8 hour and USAA finisher coins to the race.

For more information Marines deployed to the region should contact their local MWR or the Multi National Force - West Public Affairs Officer in Iraq, Major Megan McClung at megan.mcclung@cemnf-wiraq.usmc.mil.

Media interested in covering the event should contact Beth Cline, MCM Public Relations Coordinator at elizabeth.cline@usmc.mil.

Voted "Best Marathon for Families" by HerSports Magazine, the Marine Corps Marathon continues a combined tradition of dedication, sportsmanship and patriotism. Since its inception, over 300,000 civilian and military runners from all walks of life have participated, deservingly earning the event its nickname "The People's Marathon." The 31st Marine Corps Marathon will be held on October 29, 2006. Visit marinemarathon.com for more information.

For media information, contact Beth Cline, Marine Corps Marathon Public Relations Coordinator at (703) 432-1165, or Elizabeth.Cline@usmc.mil. No federal or Marine Corps endorsement implied.

alan@newsblaze.com

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