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Posted: June 25, 2018:  

Athletics: 8K Running Event Commemorates 100th Anniversary of Battle of Belleau Wood

Over 2,000 runners participated in the Belleau Wood 8K and Run Amuck events on June 23

QUANTICO, VA (June 23, 2018) - In the spirit of the Marines who earned the nickname "Devil Dogs" exactly 100 years ago at the Battle of Belleau Wood, runners took to Marine Corps Base Quanticoís hills and trails to complete 4.97 miles. The first person to cross the finish line of the Belleau Wood 8K presented by Pohanka Nissan was Matt OíNeil, 23, from Woodbridge, VA, with a time of 27:18.

The Belleau Wood 8K participants ran with tenacity and determination on the challenging course. The wooded trails mirrored the World War I Battle from June 1918, providing a relatable and memorable experience for the runners. All 683 Belleau Wood 8K finishers earned an impressive Devil Dog challenge coin, technical short sleeve shirt and a special edition bib. Today, every runner became a Devil Dog.

"Difficult and very muddy today due to the rain the past few days, but once you got out of the hills and onto the trials, everything was smooth sailing. It was really fun and Iím glad I was able to do the inaugural one," shares OíNeil on the Belleau Wood 8K course.

Crossing the line in second for the men was Alexander Livernois, 21, from Scotch Plains, NJ, with a time of 27:57. Active Duty Marine Corporal Bryce Peterson, 23, from Quantico, VA earned third with a time of 31:42.

Belleau Wood 8K women runners were led by Denise Gallant, 21, from Woodbridge, VA, who captured first place while completing her run in 35:59. Joining her on the winnerís platform were U.S. Navy Reservist Sandra Pahl, 40, from Dumfries, CA, who took second after finishing in 37:18, and Jenna Scholz, 32, former U.S. Navy from Alexandria, VA, who completed the event in 37:39.

"Itís awesome how they fought like they did back then," says Larry Gonzales, 43, Retired Army and a Belleau Wood 8K finisher from Alexandria, VA, who ran with a rucksack and an American Flag to honor veterans. "This was a great course for the MCM Event Series, especially if anyone is looking to get out and have some family time but didnít want to get dirty."

In addition to the Belleau Wood 8K, the Marine Corps Marathon Organization (MCMO) hosted Run Amuck presented by Camelbak that showcased challenging obstacles and unforgettable mud pits. This year was one of the messiest, muddiest and wettest day in the eventís history with the greater Washington D.C. area receiving around two inches of rain leading up to the event. The runners conquered the course, overcoming the mud and twenty-seven obstacles which included a foam tunnel, challenge logs, tire drills and a giant inflatable slip ní slide to name a few. All 1,300 participants competed for personal victories instead of awards, and received outstanding challenge coins, memorable bibs and official shirts.

"Great to watch the boys enjoy themselves, getting muddy and dirty," states Active Duty Marine Corps Master Sergeant Josh Wess, 36, from Stafford, VA, who ran Run Amuck with his four sons.

Unofficial results are available at Runners may continue their commitment to #RunWithTheMarines by participating in the Quantico Tri and Quantico 12K on August 25; MCM Kids Run on October 27; MCM10K on October 28; and the Turkey Trot on November 17.

For media information please contact Ashley Topolosky, Marine Corps Marathon Public Relations Coordinator at 703-432-1840 or

Belleau Wood 8K and Run Amuck are part of the 2018 MCM Event Series, hosted by the Marine Corps Marathon Organization. The MCM Event Series is sponsored by Camelbak, Marines Plumbing, Pohanka Nissan, Sentara Healthcare, VA Runner and Wegmans. No federal or Marine Corps endorsement is implied. #RunWithTheMarines

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