ARLINGTON, Va. — Air Force 2nd Lt. Jacob Bradosky cruised across the National Mall and streaked into the lead at the infamous 20-mile marker to win the Marine Corps Marathon in 2 hours 23 minutes and 30 seconds, giving airmen a reason to brag come Monday morning at joint bases across the Defense Department.
Bradosky beat a field of 30,000 racers that included 4,385 active duty service members on an unseasonably warm Halloween morning in the National Capital region. Janet Cherobon, a Kenya native who is studying for American citizenship, won the women’s division in 2:39:16. Navy Lt. Gina Slaby, 29, stationed in Tucson, Ariz., for the Defense Contract Management Agency, finished second with a time of 2:46:58.
A junior officer at the 392nd Training Squadron, 381st Training Group at Vanderberg Air Force Base, Calif., Bradosky ran 5 minute and 28 second mile splits. For those airmen worried about the new physical fitness standards, Bradosky ran on pace to finish the first 1.5 miles in 8 minutes 12 seconds. Then he spent the rest of his Sunday morning running another 24.7 miles at the same pace before most airmen on the East Coast finished their morning coffee.
Marine 1st Lt. Sean Barrett saved face for the Corps, coming in third and finishing his first marathon 38 seconds behind Bradosky. Assigned to the 2nd Radio Battalion, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Headquarters Group, Camp Lejeune, N.C., Barrett started training in June after he returned from an Iraq deployment in the spring.
“Wearing the Marine Corps singlet at this race is a great honor,” Barrett told the Washington Post. “It’s not lost on us that there are a lot of Marines deployed right now. Here, the crowd gives you great support, but that also means you can’t let them down.”
Bradosky and Barrett ran in pack with 2009 champion Navy Lt. Cmdr. John Mentzer before Bradosky pulled ahead near the hill after the 14th Street Bridge, where the marathon course typically breaks runners. Bradosky told the Post the three service members leaned on Mentzer to set the pace. When Bradosky made his move, though, the Navy officer couldn’t keep up.
Increased security was evident across the course after bullet holes were found in the sides of the Marine Corps Museum and the Pentagon in recent weeks. The event went on without incident as race officials said they relied on the experience of holding the event weeks after 9/11 in 2001.
Editor’s note: Congratulations to Heather Hoffman who finished her first marathon in 3:36:45 — well below her pre-race goal. The former Quinnipiac University cross country runner qualified for the Boston Marathon and left her older brother extremely impressed. Hoffman dedicated the race to her late grandmother, Ruth Ringen.
“She kicked butt and took names,” said Robert Hoffman, a proud father standing near the finish line next to his exhausted daughter.