Depot Marines oversee a flawless finish
By Cpl. Anthony D. Pike
| | June 07, 2002
MARINE CORPS RECRUIT DEPOT SAN DIEGO, Calif. --
More than 125,000 people crowded the streets of San Diego early Sunday morning to cheer on the participants of the fifth annual Suzuki Rock N' Roll Marathon.
The Depot again played a major role in the race, which began at the intersection of Sixth Ave. and Laurel St., by hosting the finish line for the second year in a row. Approximately 50,000 people were welcomed to the Depot, waiting at the finish line to greet family and friends.
Top honors for both male and female participants went to Kenya again this year. Sammy Korir won the race for males with a time of 2:09:01. This was one minute and five seconds faster than last year's race winner John Kagwe, a fellow Kenyon. Alice Chelangat won the female bracket with a time of 2:29:56. The top ten finishers in the male division were all from Kenya.
More than 40 bands filled the early morning hours with music along the entire race course and cheerleaders stationed along the roads kept the runners and walkers motivated through the 26.2 mile challenge.
"The bands along the course were good, and there was a lot of variety in music played," said Master Sgt. Jeffery H. Burnham, Depot Equal Opportunity Adviser. "But the MCRD band was the best one out there. They played at the start line and were able to get everybody motivated." Burnham crossed the finish line at 4:31:41.
In the last four years Team In Training (TNT) has raised over $50 million for the leukemia and lymphoma society. This year TNT exceeded its goal to raise $12 million for charity, bringing its five-year total to more than $62 million.
Sugar Ray headed this year's concert at the Coors Amphitheater with the Chris Torres' Band as the special guest. Before the concert kicked off, prizewinners of the marathon were brought on stage and recognized.
At the end of the day this year's marathon proved to be the best one yet according to race organizers.
"This is my fourth year with the marathon," said Jennifer Gross, public relations, Rock N' Roll marathon. "This year had the best turn out in both spectators and participants. The on course entertainment was exceptional, and the band members said this was the most amazing place that most of them had played. This year was by far the best."