Over the past couple of weeks I have had the pleasure of getting to know an incredible group of seventeen marines. They were in town doing canine bomb training before deployment in the fall. I met them while working on marketing communications for the Landmark Inn and quickly became their host.

I challenged them to a run because I wanted to see just what they were really made of. Well sadly, only seven of them had to do their physical fitness test so I couldn't test against the whole group. I designed their course around Coker and if any of you were wondering why men in green outfits were running near our campus, well it was because of me.

To handicap myself I ran a little over three miles before they arrived and then jumped right in with them. It was actually one of the most fun tempo runs I have had in awhile. I ran with their first place guy then hung back with a pack and loudly motivated them to move quicker. I didn't stop running until I pulled each of them through the finish line. They didn't think that I could handle them but they should have thought that they couldn't handle me. Crushing a few Marine egos is quite fun :). They even appreciated the "loud" motivation because at 9:30 a.m. in 98 degree weather we all need a little yelling to pull us through.

Coker’s weight room came in handy when they had to perform their pull-up test and then the motivation was quickly returned. They wanted to see how long I could hang from the bar in pull-up position and my weakness was quickly revealed. I was shaking the entire time and lasted a little over a minute (perfect score for females in the Marines is 2 minutes).

What I learned from that group is that you always pull each other through no matter what. Ultimately that's how teams should operate and we should always support our teammates instead of putting each other down. It was a great bonding experience because I got to motivate them through something they hated and they pulled me through something I hated. With that said, Semper Fidelis 2-1!

By the way, there are three new groups of Marines in town, do you think they can run me down?

Your running enthusiast,


Total mileage: 540 miles just 360 miles to go!