By Lt. Hy Pham, Naval Hospital Bremerton
The 39th running, literally, of the Marine Corps Marathon, held on Oct. 26, 2014, fielded almost 20,000 participants and a dedicated few from Naval Hospital Bremerton, including a Puget Sound Family Medicine Residency member attempting his first…but not last marathon.
My name is Lt. Hy Pham, and currently stationed at Naval Hospital Bremerton pursuing my second year of residency in Family Medicine.
This past October, I traveled to Washington D.C. and completed in the annual Marine Corps Marathon. It was an incredible experience shared with many of my friends and family, and it is something that I am hoping to run again in the future.
To be honest, I have never been an avid runner, and the thought of me completing a race that is 26.2 miles used to be fairy tale. Having joined the military though, I have been absorbed in a culture that that demands not only professional excellence but periodically tests, encourages, and promotes physical fitness as well.
Through time, it has become well known among my colleagues that I enjoy working out a lot, and when I heard that a couple of my friends were going to participate in the marathon this year, I saw it as a unique opportunity and challenge that could not be passed up.
Admittedly, my training leading up to the marathon was not what it should be given my busy work schedule as a resident, including a nagging foot injury I had sustained two months prior to the big race. My initial goal of beating Oprah Winfrey’s 1994 Marine Corps Marathon time of 4:29:15 changed to just being content with finishing the course.
As luck would have it though, perfect weather conditions along with a pain-free run enabled me to finish with a time of 4:10:29, and I could not be happier. All in all, it was beautiful course with an electric atmosphere, and I could not think of a better venue to have run my first marathon. The memory of seeing Marines lined up at the final stretch cheering you on as you finish at the Iwo Jima Memorial is something I will never forget.
Known as “The People’s Marathon”, I now understand why, and without any reservation, I highly recommend this race to anyone seeking a challenge and a memorable experience. Already having an itch to resume my training, I hope to see you there next year. Oorah