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Memorial run changes course to Oak Harbor

Col. Bradley Close leads a croup of Marines as they approach the finish line at last year’s fifth annual Maj. Megan McClung Memorial Run, held on Naval Air Station Whidbey Island. This year’s race will begin at Windjammer Park in Oak Harbor.  - File photo
Col. Bradley Close leads a croup of Marines as they approach the finish line at last year’s fifth annual Maj. Megan McClung Memorial Run, held on Naval Air Station Whidbey Island. This year’s race will begin at Windjammer Park in Oak Harbor.
— image credit: File photo

There is still time to register for the 6th annual Megan McClung Memorial Run, set for Saturday, Aug. 18 in a new location — downtown Oak Harbor.

After five years of running the annual 5 and 10K event on Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, the event will now begin at Windjammer Park in Oak Harbor, near the intersection of S. Beeksma Drive and SW Bayshore Drive. The new course will parallel the beach around the harbor and winds through the wharf area on Catalina Drive to intersect with the Maylor Point Trail on NAS Whidbey’s Seaplane Base.

The change in venue came about when Whidbey Island Naval Air Station withdrew its support for the event and denied permission to hold the race on base. The city of Oak Harbor quickly jumped in to host the memorial run, a move that bodes well for future expansion.

“We’ve been wanting to expand the event into a half marathon for a couple of years, but we really couldn’t do that on base without disrupting the entire base,” said Michael McClung of Coupeville. “The opportunity now is we actually have room for a half marathon course.”

While the half marathon won’t begin until next year, runners this year will have the opportunity to do either the 10K run or the 5K run/walk. Cost to register is $40 and online registration will be available up to 24 hours before the event. Same-day registration begins at 8 a.m. Saturday morning and the runs begin at 10 a.m. This is a family-friendly event and children are welcome to participate, as are dogs on leashes.

The event is held in honor of Maj. Megan McClung, the first female Marine Corps officer killed in combat during the Iraq War. She listed Coupeville as her home, which is where her parents live. Michael McClung said people all over the world still run in her memory.

“It’s a great thing. Megan wanted people to be healthy and strong and knowing she’s impacted people across the country and around the world makes us feel real good,” he said. “She has reached out and touched more people in her 34 short years than we ever have.”

Proceeds from the memorial run benefit the Semper Fi Fund, which provides financial and other assistance to Marines, sailors and members of the Army, Air Force and Coast Guard serving in support of the Marines.

For information and to register, go to www.megan mcclungmemorialrun.com or call Michael McClung at 360-320-3013.

 

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