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Middle East Marine Corps Marathon

By Staff Sgt. Jacob Osborne, TF 51/5

A service member running the 42nd Marine Corps Marathon Forward approaches the 10-mile mark of the 26.2-mile race while deployed in the Middle East Oct. 22, 2017. The Marine Corps Marathon Forward gave Marines deployed with Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force – Crisis Response – Central Command the opportunity to run the ‘Peoples Marathon’ while far from home. The Marine Corps Marathon is one of the largest marathons in the world and hosts the event in forward locations to allow service members outside the United States an opportunity to compete.
Middle East Marine Corps Marathon
A service member running the 42nd Marine Corps Marathon Forward approaches the 10-mile mark of the 26.2-mile race while deployed in the Middle East Oct. 22, 2017. The Marine Corps Marathon Forward gave Marines deployed with Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force – Crisis Response – Central Command the opportunity to run the ‘Peoples Marathon’ while far from home. The Marine Corps Marathon is one of the largest marathons in the world and hosts the event in forward locations to allow service members outside the United States an opportunity to compete.
Chief Warrant Officer 2 Jonathan Eaton, mobility officer for Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force – Crisis Response – Central Command reaches the 10-mile marker of the 42nd Marine Corps Marathon while deployed in the Middle East Oct. 22, 2017. The Marine Corps Marathon is one of the largest marathons in the world and hosts the event in forward locations to allow service members outside the United States an opportunity to compete.
Middle East Marine Corps Marathon
Chief Warrant Officer 2 Jonathan Eaton, mobility officer for Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force – Crisis Response – Central Command reaches the 10-mile marker of the 42nd Marine Corps Marathon while deployed in the Middle East Oct. 22, 2017. The Marine Corps Marathon is one of the largest marathons in the world and hosts the event in forward locations to allow service members outside the United States an opportunity to compete.
Runners of the 42nd Marine Corps Marathon Forward start the 26.2-mile race while in the Middle East Oct. 22, 2017. Service members deployed with Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force – Crisis Response – Central Command ran Marine Corps Marathon forward, with U.S. Marine Capt. Danielle Pozun taking 2nd place overall and 1st place for the Women’s Division. The Marine Corps Marathon is one of the largest marathons in the world and hosts the event in forward locations to allow service members outside the United States an opportunity to compete.
Middle East Marine Corps Marathon
Runners of the 42nd Marine Corps Marathon Forward start the 26.2-mile race while in the Middle East Oct. 22, 2017. Service members deployed with Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force – Crisis Response – Central Command ran Marine Corps Marathon forward, with U.S. Marine Capt. Danielle Pozun taking 2nd place overall and 1st place for the Women’s Division. The Marine Corps Marathon is one of the largest marathons in the world and hosts the event in forward locations to allow service members outside the United States an opportunity to compete.
Captain Danielle Pozun (center left) a Marine deployed with Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force – Crisis Response – Central Command and a member of the Marine Corps Running Team, runs the 42nd Marine Corps Marathon Forward while in the Middle East Oct. 22, 2017. The Marine Corps Marathon is one of the largest marathons in the world and hosts the event in forward locations to allow service members outside the United States an opportunity to compete.
Middle East Marine Corps Marathon
Captain Danielle Pozun (center left) a Marine deployed with Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force – Crisis Response – Central Command and a member of the Marine Corps Running Team, runs the 42nd Marine Corps Marathon Forward while in the Middle East Oct. 22, 2017. The Marine Corps Marathon is one of the largest marathons in the world and hosts the event in forward locations to allow service members outside the United States an opportunity to compete.
Runners that finished the 42nd Marine Corps Marathon Forward while in the Middle East Oct. 22, 2017 received the same medal as those running the 42nd Marine Corps Marathon in the United States. The Marine Corps Marathon is one of the largest marathons in the world and hosts the marathon in forward locations to allow deployed service members the opportunity to compete.
Middle East Marine Corps Marathon
Runners that finished the 42nd Marine Corps Marathon Forward while in the Middle East Oct. 22, 2017 received the same medal as those running the 42nd Marine Corps Marathon in the United States. The Marine Corps Marathon is one of the largest marathons in the world and hosts the marathon in forward locations to allow deployed service members the opportunity to compete.
U.S. Marine Capt. Danielle Pozun, Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force – Crisis Response – Central Command leads the pack at the beginning of the 42nd Marine Corps Marathon while deployed in the Middle East Oct. 22, 2017. The Marine Corps Marathon is one of the largest marathons in the world and hosts the event in forward locations to allow service members outside the United States an opportunity to compete.
Middle East Marine Corps Marathon
U.S. Marine Capt. Danielle Pozun, Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force – Crisis Response – Central Command leads the pack at the beginning of the 42nd Marine Corps Marathon while deployed in the Middle East Oct. 22, 2017. The Marine Corps Marathon is one of the largest marathons in the world and hosts the event in forward locations to allow service members outside the United States an opportunity to compete.
Service members deployed with Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force – Crisis Response – Central Command, (left to right) U.S. Marine Capt. Danielle Pozun, U.S. Marine Capt. Michael Nordin and LCDR Jeffrey Cook, pose for a photo at the beginning of the 42nd Marine Corps Marathon while in the Middle East Oct. 22, 2017. The Marine Corps Marathon is one of the largest marathons in the world and hosts the event in forward locations to allow service members outside the United States an opportunity to compete.
Middle East Marine Corps Marathon
Service members deployed with Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force – Crisis Response – Central Command, (left to right) U.S. Marine Capt. Danielle Pozun, U.S. Marine Capt. Michael Nordin and LCDR Jeffrey Cook, pose for a photo at the beginning of the 42nd Marine Corps Marathon while in the Middle East Oct. 22, 2017. The Marine Corps Marathon is one of the largest marathons in the world and hosts the event in forward locations to allow service members outside the United States an opportunity to compete.

UNDISCLOSED LOCATION -- On Oct. 22, 2017, more than 30,000 people hit the pavement to run one of the largest marathons in the world. For 26.2 miles, runners tested their mental and physical fitness. A marathon forward was held for those deployed in the Middle East unable to run the 42nd Marine Corps Marathon in the nation’s capital. Among the people running the marathon were three Marines and a Sailor from Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force – Crisis Response – Central Command.


According to a Greek fable the first marathon ran was more than 2,500 years ago when Pheidippides, a Greek soldier, ran from the Battle of Marathon to Athens, Greece to announce the victory against the Persians. In 1896, the marathon was added to the Olympics and now more than 800 marathons are held worldwide each year, with one of the most popular being the Marine Corps Marathon. Today, runners compete in marathons for many different reasons.

“Setting a goal of a physical achievement, making a plan of how to reach that goal, then putting that goal into action is fulfilling in itself and makes for a great excuse to keep oneself active,” said U.S. Navy Lt. Cmdr. Jeffrey Cook, force surgeon, SPMAGTF-CR-CC.


The mobility officer for SPMAGTF-CR-CC, Chief Warrant Officer 2 Jonathan Eaton, ran the Marine Corps Marathon because he wanted to inspire his Marines. He wanted to show them that every Marine should maintain a level of physical fitness to where they can wake up any day and run a physical fitness test. 


Capt. Michael Nordin, the SPMAGTF-CR-CC adjutant, trained about two days a week for six weeks working up to the marathon.


“I’ve run a marathon every year since 2014 and didn’t want to miss a year. Half marathons and marathons are my hobby,” said Nordin. “There’s nothing like getting to mile 18-19 and hitting the wall and pushing yourself through and over it, discovering another part of you that you didn’t think you had a couple miles ago.”


Whether running it to be a good example for fellow Marines or running it as a hobby, the Marine Corps Marathon challenges each participant – and not everyone can say they ran it while deployed. It is the largest marathon in the world that doesn’t offer prize money, only the chance to demonstrate personal honor, courage and commitment. Despite the demands of deployment, runners with the SPMAGTF-CR-CC made the time to run the 42nd Marine Corps Marathon.


“I love to run marathons and what a great opportunity not just to run any marathon while deployed, but the ‘People's Marathon,’ the Marine Corps Marathon,” said Cook.