Caption:  Five cadets with their driver / camera man, Nigel Mahon motored all the way to Washington, DC on their own dime and time  to compete in the Marine Corps Marathon 30 Oct. (L-R) Dan Wilkinson, Eric Blakie, Joel Morris, David Neppel, and Dominic Ragetli.  The medal winning performance is pretty impressive!



By: 25453 OCDT(IV) JOEL MORRIS 25453

With a blast of the howitzer joined by the dominating rotors of V-22 Osprey aircraft and Marine One, the Presidential helicopter, over 22000 Marines, soldiers, sailors, civilians, airmen and airwomen took their first few paces across the start line to begin the Marine Corps Marathon. Between the tens of thousands of spectators on the roads of Washington D.C. shouting ‘OORAH MARINE’ and ‘SEMPER FI”, amidst the many Marines with jarhead styled haircuts and beside too many injured service men and women on their modified wheelchairs were five determined RMC cadets taking on a challenge that for many is the pinnacle of physical achievement.

The trip was completely financed by the five runners themselves.

Spending a day touring the U.S. Capitol, we started off by proceeding to the runner’s expo at the D.C. Armory to visit the various sponsor booths and receive invaluable instruction from onsite experts on how to improve our running ability.

After the expo we toured many of the famous buildings around Washington such as the U.S. Capitol Building, White House, Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, and the Vietnam and Korea War memorials. We were all incredibly impressed by the passion put in to the designing and maintenance of these architectural icons. It turned out to be a very educationally enriching experience for us all.

The weather next morning, to our surprise was not snow like we expected the day before (which was too bad as it probably would have given us Canadians the advantage), but cold nonetheless (about 3°C). As soon as we joined the mass of runners waiting to start we heard the announcer on the loudspeakers shout proudly. “Runners prepare to launch on the blast of the howitzer. In three….two….boom… This is the 36th Marine Corps Marathon and you are all awesome!!! Welcome to your day….take the district!!”. We all felt incredibly energised at what would prove to be the Army Run in Ottawa times 100!

The surprisingly hilly terrain took us from the Pentagon in Arlington, VA, around the outskirts of D.C., passed the buildings we visited the day before, back across the Potomac River, and finished off at the top of a steep hill by the base of the Iwo Jima Marine Corps Memorial.

Through our physical ability and our mental fortitude our team, aptly named the Royal Military College of Canada placed 4th overall in the Military Teams category with time of 3:35:14! The cadets who took on this feat were 25573 David Neppel (5 Sqn), 25360 Dominic Ragetli (7 Sqn), 25284 Eric Blakie (5 Sqn), 25887 Dan Wilkinson (5 Sqn) and myself, 25453 Joel Morris (2 Sqn). We would also all like to thank our driver and photographer 2590 Nigel Mahon (6 Sqn).

During the marathon, we were immersed into the highly professional, highly motivated culture of the United States Marine Corps and were at awe at the local support shown for the American Armed Services. It was an experience none of us will forget and look forward to the day when we can work alongside them. Even with our limited resources we were able make an impact in the standings and next year we intend to return with a larger team to represent our Royal Military College of Canada and once again take the district.


Follow your favourite team by clicking on the link in the table below:

Rebecca Fielding on Assignment…


Emilie Beland, 5 SQN

Hometown: Gatineau, Qc

Family: how many sisters/brothers: 1 Brother (18 years old)

Degree: Psychology

Occupation: MARS

Position: Varsity Team captain

One special memory you have from running is: Breaking all time RMC record for women 600m in winter of 2011.

My most memorable competition was: OUA’s Track and field 2011, beating my record on 600m.

One thing people don’t know about me is: I don’t really have one. I love to talk and don’t hide much.

Biggest Fear: Being stuck in a tiny space.

Hobbies: Diving, biking, swimming.

Future Aspirations: Finishing a half ironman.


Richard Hayes

Hometown: Ottawa, Ontario

Family: I have one younger sister; she is currently attending her first year of university in Ottawa.

Degree: English

Occupation: Army Logistics

Position: Captain of the male Running Team, 13 SQN section commander

One special memory you have from running is: Running bare foot on the sands of myrtle beach early in the morning during last year’s Christmas training camp.

My most memorable competition was: My first one, in first year. It was a 10k that took place on fort henry hill the day after the obstacle course. I ran beside another teammate, and, the whole time, we would run up behind other runners and pass them really quickly on either side and then close off once we got in front.

One thing people don’t know about me is: I study math all the time.

Biggest Fear: A large crowd of people that get in my way when I am trying to run somewhere.

Hobbies: I play chess. I solve Rubik’s cubes. Being an English major, when I am not reading for school, I read for personal interest. I am interested in the universe, philosophy, and science fiction literature.

Future Aspirations: I would like to get another university degree, likely in mathematics. I plan to remain in the CF for a long period, around fifteen years. Afterwards, if I don’t become a scientist, I’ll become an author. I will continue to run in my spare time, but I will race triathlon.