Shutdown threatened Marine Corps Marathon

5:23 PM, Oct 16, 2013   |    comments
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The early morning sun rises behind the U.S. Capitol building September 20, 2013 in Washington, DC (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- As the folks on Capitol Hill come closer to ending the government shutdown, the folks running in the 38th Marine Corps Marathon are getting more excited.

The Marathon is scheduled for next Sunday, October 27th. But since most of the course is on Federal land, the Marathon's organizers have been scrambling to find alternate routes. There's even been talk of cancelling the Marathon altogether. For the 30,000 people running in this year's race, it's been nerve-wracking to sit and wait for an answer.

Suzie Giampetroni is one of those runners. She plans on running the Marine Corps 10K, which is a companion race to the Marathon. She and several members of her parish, St Patricks of Rockville, are raising money for seminary students through a program called "Run for Vocations". Regardless of what happens on Capitol Hill, the parish's mission to help those students will go on as planned.

Suzie said, "It would be very disheartening if there is not a deal made, because you're still raising the money, (but) I'm sure the money will still go where it needs to go." Each runner is required to raise at least $950 for a charity of their choosing in order to be eligible for the race.

Sara Fanous decided she wanted to run the Marine Corps Marathon about a year ago. After all those training runs, a cancellation would be a big letdown. This was supposed to be Sara's first marathon, but she's keeping everything in perspective. She said, "As frustrated as I am from a running standpoint, it doesn't affect my paycheck so I have a lot to be thankful for."

As lawmakers continue to iron out details to end the shutdown, the participants and personnel from the Marathon wait with bated breath. The staff hasn't made a decision whether the race will go on as planned, but the news coming out of the Hill today is encouraging, and a final decision will be made within the next day or two. The decision can't come soon enough for the anxious runners. 

Organizers of the race say that they are optimistic, that as a deal is completed and the shutdown ends, they will be able to coordinate with the National Park Service and all other necessary personnel to ensure the Marathon goes on as scheduled.

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