Misadventures with wine, weights, and running shoes.

Marine Corps Historic Half - in Blue

Tuesday, May 26, 2015
About a year after I ran the Marine Corps Historic Half, I found myself up at a ridiculous hour heading to Virginia to do it again. At least this year, I knew going in that it would not be pretty.

My allergies and asthma were (still are) at an all time bad and the weather forecast called for a high around 80 with 100% humidity. That translates into running through hot thick soup while breathing through a straw.

Awesome, right?

At least I was prepared. I limited my meds to the ones that caused the least dehydration and had a hydration plan. Erring on the side of the super cautious, Cindy and I started hydrating with electrolytes about three days before the race. We were as ready as we were going to get.

Unlike last year, we were running with a purpose that didn't involve a PR. This year we chose to run with wear blue: run to remember®.

My first encounter with this organization was at the 2014 Marine Corps Marathon at what would be my most memorable and emotional mile of the race: the blue mile. Over the distance of one mile, photos of soldiers - hundreds of them - and their names are staged one after another along with members of the organization who are holding American flags and cheering runners.

photo credit: wear blue: run to remember
It was only a few photos in when I realized that this line of photos appeared to go on forever and the shear magnitude of what I was looking at unfolded before me. Freedom is not free and these Men and Women made the ultimate sacrifice for it. I then spent the remainder of the mile in tears and determined to finish the race.
"The mission of wear blue: run to remember is to build running communities that honor the service and sacrifice of the American military. wear blue seeks to (1) act as a support network, (2) serve as a living memorial, and (3) bridge the gap between military and civilian communities."
So like I was saying, up at a ridiculous hour to go run this race...or to drive to the race, take a nap in the car, and then go run the race.

Nap behind us, we were getting ready to head to the start when we heard, "hey blue!" Someone was talking to us. I was honestly, so taken aback her name escapes me, but she was talking to us. Assuming it was a fluke, we went about our way.

On our way to the starting line, people past us saying, "Good luck blue" and "Run strong blue." There was much more to this community that I had realized. The same occurred during the actual race. Others with wear blue would pass and we'd cheer each other on and offer a thumbs up or some motivational words.

In the final miles of the race, we encountered the blue mile again. Much like the Marine Corps Marathon, I was overcome with emotion. Just when I thought I had myself together, I reached the line of wear blue volunteers who one by one cheered us up the hill. "Go Blue" - "You've got this hill, Blue." - "Looking strong, Blue." - "Run with Honor, Blue."

...and just like that, I was a mess all over again.

In the final stretch of the race, the route was lined with spectators and over the cow bells and screams I heard "Go Blue."

Across the finish line and once reunited with Cindy, we grabbed a drink and then headed to the spectator area. We needed to give back so we spent a good hour cheering on other members of wear blue: run to remember.

Everyone's story is different much like everyone's reason for running is different but wear blue: run to remember unites us as a living memorial to the American Military. A visible reminder that freedom isn't free.

Learn more about wear blue: run to remember:
Love, Theresa.
4 comments on "Marine Corps Historic Half - in Blue"
  1. That mile in MCM is very emotional. Never ran Historic Half, but I imagine it is similar. I do not remember much from the marathon, but I remember that mile and being overcome with gratitude for the service. It is so memorable.

    1. I'm sure it will be equally as emotional this year. Can't believe I'm running MCM again.

  2. That is a beautiful post. I just did my first event with wear blue -- a Memorial Day run. The Blue Mile in the Historic Half is what got me so choked up that I couldn't breathe on that muggy day. Their work is so inspiring.

    1. Thank you! I'm looking forward to running future events with them. They are truly an amazing community.