In an unprecedented display of military might, a Navy man and a Marine woman won the fourth annual Marine Corps Marathon yesterday. Neither saluted when crossing the finish line.
Wearing what he calls, "my hoorah Navy T-shirt," Lt. Phil Camp, 32, a flight instructor stationed at Pensacola, Fla., said, "I like that (the miltary victories). It's about time."
Camp, who finished second in 1977, broke the tape at the Iwo Jima Memorial in Arlington, in 2 hours 19 minutes 35 seconds. That was 87 seconds slower than the record set last year by Scott Eden.
Camp caught the leader, Will Albers of Fairfax, at 23 1/2 miles, midway across the 14th Street Bridge. Albers was second in 2:20:14.
"I was pretty much running scared for the last two miles," Camp said.
Then, turning to Albers, he added, "Right up until I made the effort to pass you, I wasn't sure I'd make it in. I didn't feel that good."
Marine Lt. Joanna Yundt Martin, who graduated from Woodbridge High School in Prince William County, also came from behind winning in 2:58:06.
Martin, stationed at Camp Pendleton, Calif., passed Laura DeWald of Arlington, running her first marathon, the leader for the first 25 miles, three-quarters of a mile from the finish.
"She was three minutes ahead of me at 17," Martin said. "She must have died because I sure didn't pick it up."
Die DeWald did. One half-mile from the finish, the first-time marathoner was passed by Trudy Rapp, 42-year-old mother of three nationally ranked swimmers. Rapp was second in 2:58:48 and DeWald third in 2:59:22. None of the women's times approached the world record of 2:27:33 set by Grete Waitz two weeks ago in the New York Marathon. Waitz's clocking would have placed here 24th overall in yesterday's race.
The race drew 6,473 starters (the Marines had expected about 8,000). In fact, there probably were more runners than spectators along the 26-mile 385-yard course on a crisp fall day.
"I was really surprised," Martin said. )Two years ago, I ran here in the rain and there were people all along the way. And they were a lot more reserved today than they were two years ago."
The race began with military precision with a blast from a 105-mm. howitzer.
The initial pace, said Camp, was too fast.
"It was faster than I wanted to go, 4:50 (a mile). I told everybody around me, 'You're nuts.'"
Camp, who had been running only 60 to 80 miles per week, was concerned about burning himself out early. "I wanted to be cautious at the start," he said. "I wanted to keep from dying. I tried not to allow their pace to affect me."
A pack of five runners, led by defending champion Eden, a Duke University medical school student, and Michael Hurd, a member of the British Royal Air Force, who had the best time coming into the race (2:15:54), remained closely knit for the first nine miles.
They were disarmingly chummy as they circled through the labyrinth of the Pentagon (which made up nearly a quarter of the race), through Arlington, and across Key Bridge into Georgetown.
Another pack of runners, including Camp and another Navy man, Steve Gilmore, lingered perhaps 30 yards behind, never losing touch with the leaders, as Camp put it.
Eden led the group down M Street in Georgetown, the nine-mile mark, looking very much like a good bet to repeat. But Hurd pulled away from him under the Whitehurst Expressway. Wearing No. 45, which had originally been assigned to former New Mexico Gov. Jerry Apodaca (his pace prevented a case of mistaken identity), Hurd opened up a 50-yard lead. At the half-marathon, his time was 67:54, a course-record pace.
But as he approached the Supreme Court, Hurd began to labor. His shoulders looked tight, and he seemed to be breathing heavily. Though friendly spectators waved the Union Jack in front of him, he was clearly flagging.
Hurd who had run two marathons in the last six weeks, said, "For the first 15, I felt great. After that the lights went out and the legs went dead." Although he suspected that might happen ("I was gambling all the time"), he was not about to turn down a "holiday" in the United States courtesy of the RAF.
As Hurd raced down the Mall, past the Air and Space Museum, Eden and Albers, who is known primarily as a 10-miller, pulled up behind him.
At Mile 15, in front of the Smithsonian, Albers "took off," as Eden put it. "I was surprised how quickly he went by and how easily he was running."
Eden, by contrast, had developed bursitis in his right knee after running in the Nike Marathon in September and was tiring.
Albers, who held the lead from the 15-mile mark, down the Mall (where he ran into some interference from the convoy of military vehicles leading the pack), and up and back from Hains Point, was shocked to find himself first.
"I looked at my brother (a runner at George Mason University, who was riding alongside on a bicycle) and my eyes popped out of my head. I was hoping to get a qualifying time (for the Olympic Trials) and that's all I wanted to do."
The first seven runners finished under 2:21:54, including Eden, to qualify for the Olympic Trials.
"When I went by him (Hurd) it was like being somewhere I shouldn't be, like getting caught with my hand in the cookie jar," Albers said.
Albers, who dropped out last year at the 20-mile mark, the very tip of Hains Point, and felt he had something to prove to those who thought he could not run a big race, had an 18-yard lead at the 17-mile mark.
His only company and the only noise, came from the squaks of the sea gulls hovering above. Even the golfers on the East Potomac Park greens ignored him. At that point, he was trailed by Eden and Camp, who had begun to move up.
Camp, who estimated that he was 150 yards behind at the most, never lost sight of Albers. "My big chance to get him was after 20 miles," Camp said. "The guys on the bikes were really encouraging me."
When Camp passed him midway across the Potomac, its waters glistening in the bright, fall sun, Albers knew he "could not go with him.
"I fantasized all week about kicking to the finish," said Albers.
"It's not a kicker's finish," replied Camp.
Indeed. The steepest hill on the relatively flat course is the one that greets the runners at the bottom of the Iwo Jima Memorial as they enter the homestretch.
"My legs were hammered," said Camp. "If it had been flat I could have finished 30 seconds earlier."