Five Greenwood High students to compete in Marine Corps Marathon

Running for the gold!

Five Greenwood High School Navy Junior ROTC Cadets and their instructors will be competing in the Marine Corps Marathon on Sunday.

“The Cadets came to last semester and said ‘hey in the fall, we want to do something amazing.’ So, I said well we can go for a long hike, they didn’t want to do that… we can go to Washington DC and do the Marine Corps Marathon, I was kind of joking, but they loved it, they said let’s do it!” says Lieutenant Colonel Eric Larson, who is one of the two instructors. 

For the past eight months the students have been training and preparing for the 26.2 mile marathon in Washington DC.

“Running… We have been running since late February, early March and gradually getting longer and longer distances and doing more miles every week. It’s been very time consuming and just hard.” says Ashton Bell, a cadet at Greenwood High School.

“It’s exciting. It’s going to be against 20,000 people so that’s really cool. It’s also called ‘The People’s Marathon’. So I get to run with a lot of military people and a lot of people with military backgrounds and stuff. It’s going to be really exciting.” says Logan Flesher, a cadet at Greenwood High School. 

Chief Greg Blakeman hopes this marathon teaches the cadets healthy habits. He says running has kept him in top physical shape.

“This is my third marathon and I have been running for about 40 years, I guess. I know this stuff works. I am in pretty good shape for someone who is 61. I know if they can take on board this kind of stuff and learn these things and stick with the same kind of stuff that has worked for me, that it will work for them in the long run.” says Blakeman. 

The group is the only high school group competing in the marathon. They will leave Greenwood High School on Thursday to head to Washington DC.

While the group is in Washington DC, they plan to visit the White House, Arlington National Cemetery, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and other war memorials.