Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Depot to mark Corps birthday in 232-mile run

By Gidget Fuentes - Staff writer
Posted : Tuesday Nov 6, 2007 7:31:35 EST

OCEANSIDE, Calif. — Let’s face it: Marking the Marine Corps’ 232nd birthday this year wouldn’t be exciting without a distinctive way to do it.

So how about running 232 miles? That’s the plan at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, where Marines and other runners will lace up their shoes to run the distance — that’s nearly nine full marathons — by sharing those miles in an ultra-marathon over two nights.

The 232-mile MCRD Relay Run will kick off at 4:50 p.m. Tuesday, with the first runner stepping off on the mile-loop course around the depot’s massive parade deck before handing off the baton to the next person. At least one person will run each mile segment, although “you can have a whole shop running,” said depot spokesman Austin Mansfield.

The final, 232nd mile will be a large, formal formation run expected to begin at 7:30 a.m. Thursday. “It should be a pretty good crowd,” Mansfield said.

Depot officials pulled out their calculators and estimated that participants would average a 10-minute mile, “which is a pretty slow pace,” he said. “But for some of the folks, a 10-minute mile is a challenge.”

As for the miles run at, say, 2:30 a.m., he predicted, “speed starts slowing down.”

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