September 13, 2012

Competitors run a heartbreaking half marathon

Story and photo by Lance Cpl. Trevon S. Peracca
Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton
A Marine Special Operations Command (MARSOC) Marine runs bearing the American Flag, during the Heartbreak Ridge Half Marathon at Camp Pendleton, Calif., Sept. 8.

MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif.   —  More than 1,200 participants competed in the Heartbreak Ridge Half Marathon and 1k Kids Race beginning at Camp Pendleton’s 43Area Parade Deck, Sept. 8.

For 11 years this event has taken runners on a 13.1 mile journey through the hills of Camp Pendleton. Unlike most half marathons, this unique race had a 90 percent off-road terrain that added a distinct challenge to the route.

“This is the first time I have run more than five miles,” said Pfc. Victor D. Lowe, an administrative specialist with Headquarters and Support Battalion, Alpha Company, Installation Personnel Administration Center (14 area remote). “I would definitely encourage more Marines to participate in these types of events.”

Everything began with a kids race, where children ages 14 and below had a choice to run one, two, or three laps (1K) around a predesigned course on the parade deck.

Next, adult competitors gathered at the starting line, anxiously waiting to begin the race. The race began with the military men division, followed by civilian men and all women.

“This year we amped it up and brought howitzer displays,” said Jill J. Prichard, the race series coordinator for Semper Fit. “Civilians love seeing what Marines do, so having displays out here makes a huge difference.”

Cpl. Samuel C. Brandt, a radio operator with 1st Intelligence Battalion, was the first male runner across the finish line with a time of 1 hour 22 minutes and 22 seconds. An awards ceremony took place at 10:30 a.m. for the top three overall male and female competitors.

“I would love to continue participating in the Hard Corps Race Series events whenever I can,” Lowe said.

The next event in the 2012 Hard Corps Race Series is the Buffalo Alley 10k, 5k and 1k Kids Race at Camp Pendleton’s 53 area, Oct. 20. For more information on The Heartbreak Ridge Half Marathon and 1k Kids Race or other Hard Corps Race Series events please visit

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