5 questions for Rick Nealis, race director of Washington D.C.’s Marine Corps Marathon

This year's Marine Corps Marathon marks race director Rick Nealis' 20th year with the marathon. (Mike Morones/Staff)

Rick Nealis is the race director of the 30,000-runner Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, D.C. (Mike Morones/Staff)

Marine Corps Times staff writer Gina Harkins caught up with Marine Corps Marathon race director Rick Nealis last week to talk about race security and changes he’s seen during his two decades with the marathon.

She writes:

Six months after the Boston Marathon bombing left three people dead and more than 260 injured, organizers of the Marine Corps Marathon are applying the lessons learned from that horrific incident to their own event.

Rick Nealis, the Marine Corps Marathon race director, said they’re planning for 30,000 runners on the 26.2 mile course that weaves through national parks in Washington and northern Virginia. About 100,000 spectators are expected to line the route.

It’s not the first challenge Nealis has faced. After 20 years as a Marine ground supply officer, Nealis, who retired as a major, has guided the marathon through the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the D.C.-area snipers and hurricanes. On top of the security concerns, the marathon faced cancellation this year due to the government shutdown.

Read the rest of Gina’s interview over on Marine Corps Times.

Sara Davidson

Sara Davidson is an ultrarunner and contributor to PT365. She's run 7 marathons and 32 ultramarathons -- including her first 100-miler. This fall she is training for the Marine Corps Marathon using our PT365 Run Plan. Reach her at sdavidson@gannett.com .