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Fredericksburg Natives Captured Wins at Marine Corps Historic Half

QUANTICO, VA (May 20, 2018) – Almost 5,700 runners from all 50 states and 14 countries converged on a hot Fredericksburg, VA to #RunWithTheMarines. Runners conquered the 13.1-mile Marine Corps Historic Half, the five mile Semper 5ive and the 18.1-mile Devil Dog Double, which encompasses both event distances and reward finishers with three medals. Spectators cheered on the runners throughout the course from the start and finish lines and through historic downtown Fredericksburg, VA.

The sun shined bright with the second hottest event day in Historic Half history. The event had 5,682 total finishers, with 4,211 in the Historic Half, 1,021 in the Semper 5ive, 449 in the Devil Dog Double and one hand cycle.

The Historic Half was won by Thomas Porter, 27, a Fredericksburg native who returned to his hometown from New Haven, CT to visit family with a time of 1:13:44. This was Porter’s first Historic Half and he was in town at just at the right time to run in the event. Porter was excited to participate in the Historic Half as his father is a former Marine.

“There was a good amount of motivation and enthusiasm and energy going into the race. The sun came out and it became more challenging but it was a fun event.”

Porter’s win was followed by Nick Reed, 25, from Fairfax, VA with a time of 1:14:03. This was the closest finish between first and second place in event history with just nineteen seconds separation, topping the 2010 record of twenty-one seconds. Mark Hopely, 29, placed third with 1:14:40. Hopely is from Fredericksburg, VA and won the Historic Half in 2016 and 2017.

Jillian Weisbeck, 21, from Fredericksburg, VA, stole the show for the females in the Historic Half with 1:28:26. As a runner for University of Mary Washington, Weisbeck is familiar with the streets and course landmarks. This event was her first win at a large running event, as last year she ran the Historic Half and placed sixth overall.

“It doesn’t even feel real,” shared Weisbeck on her win. “It’s pretty cool to be able to do this and there’s definitely a big sense of community because throughout the race I see people I know everywhere, which is awesome that they’re here to cheer you on.”

Historic Half female second place was awarded to Patricia Walsh, 43, from Severn, MD, with 1:32:04. Erica Brecher, 32, of Fredericksburg, VA, took third with 1:33:04.

The Semper 5ive winners were Randy Shelton, 43, of North Prince George, VA with 31:30 and Jenna Scholz, 32, of Alexandria, VA with 38:18. The Devil Dog Double top finishers were Bryce Peterson, 23, with 2:06:58 and Sandra Pahl, 40, with 2:19:37.
The highlight of the finish line was the engagement of Historic Half finisher Amanda Willging to Chet-Tyler Cary as she completed the event. Cary got down on one knee to ask her to marry him after she crossed the finish at 2:38:01. Tears of joy were shared as Willging added an engagement ring to her finisher bling.
For media inquiries, please contact Ashley Topolosky, Public Relations Coordinator at ashley.topolosky@usmc-mccs.org or 703-987-3191.


The Marine Corps Historic Half Weekend hosted annually in Fredericksburg, VA, includes thousands of participants and spectators from all over the United States and the world to partake in the Historic Half Marathon, Semper 5ive and the Devil Dog Double which encompasses both distances. Considered “The Greatest Half in History,” the Marine Corps Historic Half boasts a course featuring landmarks dating back to our nation’s beginnings and the early homes of Presidents George Washington and James Monroe. A production of Marine Corps Marathon Organization, the Historic Half is sponsored by GEICO Military, Wegmans, Pohanka Nissan, Brooks and Mary Washington Healthcare. The Semper 5ive is presented by Navy Federal Credit Union. No federal or Marine Corps endorsement implied. #RunWithTheMarines