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Posted: May 16, 2013  

Athletics: Lord of Rings Star to Start and Run Historic Half on May 19

Sean Astin Joins NBC4's Chuck Bell, 10,000 Runners and U.S. Marines in Fredericksburg, VA

QUANTICO, VA (May 15, 2013) - Film actor Sean Astin and NBC4 meteorologist Chuck Bell will join U.S. Marines and 10,000 participants at the Marine Corps Historic Half on Sunday, May 19 in Fredericksburg, VA. Accomplished long distance runners, Astin and Bell will serve as official starters with Bell sending off the wheelchair and hand cycle participants at 6:59 a.m., and Astin firing the starting pistol for the Historic Half at 7 a.m. Both will then take off to run the 13.1 mile course.

Film actor Sean Astin is recognized for his defining roles as Samwise Gamgee in the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, Mikey Walsh in "The Goonies," and as the title character "Rudy" in the powerful story of Daniel "Rudy" Ruettiger's dream to play football at the University of Notre Dame. Astin also appeared as Lynn McGill in the fifth season of "24" and is the voice of Raphael in Nickelodeon's "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" animated television series. In addition to his flourishing career as an actor, director and producer, Astin also is an avid distance runner, who began a running blog and Twitter campaign to promote running as a loving endeavor.

Astin started TEAM #Run3rd answering the question, why do I run? - "I run 1st for myself, I run 2nd for my family, I #Run3rd for you," he says. "What began as an inspirational Twitter campaign has grown into a global movement with runners sharing dedications made on behalf of their loved ones, causes and ideas."

Also running his first Historic Half, (under what will surely be sunny skies), weatherman Chuck Bell is a four-time Marine Corps Marathon (MCM) finisher. Bell's PR for running the MCM was established in 2011 as he completed the 26.2 mile course in 3:29:52.

Historic Half Weekend kicks off at the opening of the Healthy Lifestyle Expo on Friday, May 17 at 3:30 p.m., outside the front of the Fredericksburg Expo & Conference Center at 2371 Carl D. Silver Parkway. The two-day Expo is free and open to the public with participants of the Marine Corps Historic Half, Historic 10K and Semper Fred 5K attending the Expo to pick up their event-day gear and runner's bibs. The Expo will be open Saturday, May 18 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Historic Half Weekend also includes the Runners bRUNch 5K at 9 a.m. on Saturday, May 18 with registration available at The bRUNch includes a 3.1 mile run and catered brunch inside the Expo Center ballroom. Guest speaker Chuck Engle, known as the "Marathon Junkie," will join participants in the run.

Media interested in covering the Marine Corps Historic Half should contact Tami Faram, Marine Corps Marathon and Historic Half Public Relations Coordinator at tami.faram@usmc.mi or 703-432-1840.

The Marine Corps Historic Half is located halfway between the nation's capital in Washington, D.C. and the capital of the Commonwealth in Richmond, VA. The Historic Half is coordinated by organizers of the Marine Corps Marathon (MCM). The 2013 Historic Half is sponsored by sponsored by Hyundai Hope On Wheels, Geico, Dominion Virginia Power, Marine Federal Credit Union, BAE Systems and JK Moving Services No federal or Marine Corps endorsement implied.

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