Monday, May 20, 2013

Sean Astin steals the show at Marine Corps Historic Half Marathon

Excerpted from article in Marine Corps Times.

Sean gets his finisher's medal from Col. David W. Maxwell, commander of Marine Corps Base Quantico.

…  But it was actor Sean Astin, star of the movies “Rudy” and the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, who stole the show.

Sean fired the starter's pistol before joining 8,000 runners for the half.
Wearing the ceremonial race bib No. 1, he fired the starter’s pistol to kick off the race. Then, he jumped into the fray and ran the 13.1-mile course, finishing in 2 hours and 11 minutes and 58 seconds.

Being the featured star in a military sponsored event, he said was an honor for him as it gave him a chance to spend some time with members of the military.

“I was trained early on to look a Marine, soldier, sailor or airman in the eye and thank them for their service and mean it,” Astin said. “I’m a very patriotic American and this gives me a chance to prove it.”

What he wasn’t expecting was for the race to renew patriotism.

“This is very special — a military event in a historic place and I won’t forget it — standing in the middle of the street and the [national and Marine Corps] colors are presented and there’s a cannon being set off by a unit of Marines and you’re singing the national anthem with them — it reawakens in you a spirit of pride in our country and those who serve her.” …

Listening to the National Anthem.
Astin, meanwhile didn’t run his fastest half marathon, but that didn’t seem to bother him as he graciously posed for pictures with many runners and their families around the finish line after the race.

Being among service members, Astin said, reminds him of what’s important.

“I’m a 42-year old man now and I look around and see these young Marines, in their early- to mid-20s, many of whom have already deployed overseas four times, and you just are in awe of them,” he said.

“Regardless of what you think about what we’re doing around the world, at some time or other we depend on these people to protect our freedom, our way of life by doing a tough job that most people would hesitate to do.”

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