By 2nd Class Nardel Gervacio |Navy Public Affairs Support Element West, Det. Whidbey Island | Navy.mil | August 14, 2011
NAVAL AIR STATION WHIDBEY ISLAND, Wash. (NNS) -- More than 225 competitors hit the pavement during the 5th Annual Major Megan McClung Memorial Run aboard Naval Air Station Whidbey Island in Oak Harbor, Aug. 13.
The memorial run, consisting of five- and 10-kilometer runs, is held each year in remembrance of McClung, who died Dec. 6, 2006 in Ramadi, Iraq.
She was the first female Marine Corps officer to be killed in Operation Iraqi Freedom. She was also an avid marathon runner and six-time Ironman competitor.
Proceeds and donations from the run will go to support the Semper Fi Fund for wounded Marines.
"This is my third year participating, and it's great tribute, not only to Megan, but those that serve and put their lives on the line," said Christine Johnson of Sedro-Wooley, Wash.
Marine Corps Col. Bradley Close, Marine Aviation Training Support Group (MATSG) 53 commanding officer, was impressed with the command's cohesion and participation in this event.
"It's a great turn-out, we're really happy to see so many people come out and show their support for the Major McClung Memorial Run," said Close. "It's for a great cause; for a fallen warrior, one of our own and all the funds go to the Semper Fi Fund, which again goes to help wounded warriors and help with their transition."
MATSG 53 hosted the event, and according to McClung's parents and members of MATSG 53, they hope to gain even more support in upcoming years.
McClung's father, Michael, spoke about the event.
"Today's event is important for Megan's memory because Megan believed in mind, body and spirit, she believed that you need to be athletic, to get out and exercise, to clear you mind which will raise your spirit," said McClung. "It's a great turn-out; Megan encouraged people to run,. When she would run, she would finish the race, go back and help the slower runners along. Megan always said that it's not about winning the race, it's about finishing it."
Coming in first place in the 10-kilometer run was Brian Comer of Sammamish, Wash., at 37 minutes and 29 seconds. Matthew Reith of Oak Harbor, Wash., finished in first place in the five-kilometer run with a final time of 19 minutes and 8 seconds.
For more news from Navy Public Affairs Support Element West, Det. Northwest, visit www.navy.mil/local/nwpacen/.