Chuck Moeser of Thornton, N.H., has told the marines he plans to win Sunday's race. To others, he's said, "I'm really eager to run it. I'm ready to come down there and kick some marine butts."
Now a house-builder with a wife and four children, Moeser admits he was "pretty wild when I was 18," doing the Georgetown pub circuit while a student at Loudoun County High School. Then he was drafted into the Army and was sent to Fort Campbell, Ky.
"That was probably the best thing that ever happened to me," he said the other day from his home in New Hampshire. His parents still live in Northern Virginia. "I'd have either been the president of a company or in jail by now. I had a lot of extra energy. That's probably the reason I run so much now. I don't hang out in bars and drink a lot of beers. I don't have time for it."
The president of his own company, Running Construction, Moeser builds houses for 10-12 hours a day, then comes home and runs 12-15 miles each night. The 12th Marine Corps Marathon will be Moeser's 15th marathon. In his first, the Dartmouth Medical School marathon in 1977, he competed in denim cutoffs and old sneakers. He clocked 2:57.
Not knowing much about the specifics of marathon running and training, he ran in New York three weeks later and was timed in 2:55. That was it for the year. His best time is the 2:24 he ran twice in 1982.
After a break from competitive running during which he raised a family with his wife Linda and started his company, Moeser is back in competitive shape and hopes to better 2:19. And win.