First-timer wins 37th MCM

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First-timer wins 37th MCM

Despite hurricane warnings and windy conditions 30,000 runners braved the 37th Marine Corps Marathon. Among them, Spc. Augustus Maiyo, a first-time marathoner and this year’s winner with an unofficial time of 2:20:20.

“I didn’t really have control [of the race] until the last mile, ” said Maiyo. “At the 18 Mile I was feeling strong. I didn’t know what was in front of me, it was busy but at the 20 Mile everyone was gone.”

Maiyo’s training team friend Capt. Kenneth Foster, also representing the U.S. Army finished second with an unofficial time of 2:22:34 and was followed by Birhanu Tadesse, a native of Ethiopia, who clocked in at 2:23:03.

Foster, currently stationed in Fort Huachuca, Arizona is a military intelligence officer in the process of completing the Captain’s Career Course.

“I have a final exam actually on Tuesday so during the flight and all last week I’ve been studying pretty intensely,” said Foster. “I probably didn’t get as much sleep as I should have but I just wanted to represent the Army and do well.”

The top female finisher Hirut Guanqul, of Ellicott City, MD, surprised everyone by snagging first place with an unofficial time of 2:42:03. She was followed by Abebe Wayinshet Hailu (2:47:03) and Erin Richard (2:48:10) of Rochester Hills, MI.

“I loved the loop.  Everywhere you went was something different and there were people everywhere cheering for you,” said Richard after completing her third marathon and first MCM.

Richard led the ladies for the first 19 miles of the course. After only running in marathon time trials, her goal at the MCM was to claim first.

“I was in a pack of guys the whole time and [Guanqul] was right behind me. At 19 I backed off a little bit and she took a couple steps ahead of me and the next thing I knew it was 100 feet. I was by myself for a while and was caught again just before 25 miles. [Hailu] went by me and was like, ‘Come on girl!’ I tried to go but even though you know you’re so close it’s so hard.”

"My target was to win this race so when I passed [Richard] I can imagine to win and I was very happy and comfortable," said Guanqul through an interpreter.  From that point on she knew she would finish first.  Guanqul was thrilled with her performance and the result, particularly after suffering a pulled left calf while running another marathon just last week.

The approaching storm held off for the start of the race, with dry, slightly windy conditions and temperatures in the low 60s.

“I prefer this weather but without the wind,” said Maiyo of the gusts that picked up shortly after the race began and continued through the morning.

Maiyo wasn’t the only runner affected by the 17 mph gusts.

“The conditions were ideal aside from the wind,” said Foster. “The temperature was great, the crowd support was great and you’re running in the nation’s capital and doing it with all four military branches here.”

“When you start to get tired and it starts to get windy it’s like a double hit,” said Richard. “I felt it more [at the end] but I don’t know if I was just getting tired or if it was picking up more.”

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Pierre-Paul injury a big loss for Redskins' playoff rival

Pierre-Paul injury a big loss for Redskins' playoff rival

When you’re fighting for a playoff spot, it’s not only about what happens to you. It’s also about what happens to the teams you’re competing against for that playoff spot. And one of the Redskins’ main competitors got some very bad news this morning.

The Giants, who are in the No. 5 spot in the NFC, the first wild card spot, got word today that defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul has had sports hernia surgery. The recovery time is at least four weeks, probably more like six. The Giants’ season is likely to be over by the time six weeks elapse, barring a playoff run without one of their best defensive players.

Pierre-Paul has helped solidify what was a shaky Giants defense last year. He has seven sacks and a fumble recovery returned for a touchdown. He has been heating up down the stretch with 5.5 sacks in his last three games.

His loss is a big blow for the Giants. They are a game ahead of the Buccaneers, who hold the No. 6 spot, and a game and a half ahead of the Redskins, who are currently seventh.

The Redskins play New York in Week 17 so the Redskins have to pick up just one game on the Giants over the next three to have a shot at passing them in the season finale.

The chances of that happening looked pretty good with Washington playing playing three teams with losing records in the Eagles, Panthers, and Bears and the Giants going against division leaders Dallas and Detroit in addition to the Eagles. With the Giants now without Pierre-Paul, the Redskins’ probabilities got tilted in their direction a little bit more.

Just finishing ahead of the Giants wouldn’t guarantee a playoff spot but it would come close. It would mean that the Redskins would have at least nine wins and the Redskins’ tie means that two teams would have to get to 10 wins to knock them out of the playoffs. The Bucs have to win three more games to get to nine wins and the Packers and Vikings would have to run the table.

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Alex Ovechkin trails Sidney Crosby after first week of All-Star voting

Alex Ovechkin trails Sidney Crosby after first week of All-Star voting

One week into the voting for the 2017 NHL All-Star game and Alex Ovechkin has some work to do if he wants to be named captain of the Metropolitan Division team for the second season in a row.

The NHL released the top five vote-getters after one week of voting. Ovechkin sits in second behind rival Sidney Crosby.

Here are the Metropolitan Division’s top five:

  1. Sidney Crosby
  2. Alex Ovechkin
  3. Phil Kessel
  4. John Tavares
  5. Taylor Hall

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Crosby was not selected to last season’s All-Star Game, but this year he may be hard to catch. Not normally a top goal-scorer, Crosby currently leads the NHL in goals with 17. Ovechkin, meanwhile, has only 12 to this point, good for 10th in the league.

Ovechkin was voted team captain last season, but withdrew from the game with an injury.

Here are the top five players from each of the other divisions:

Atlantic

  1. Carey Price
  2. Jaromir Jagr
  3. Shea Weber
  4. Jack Eichel
  5. Patrice Bergeron

Central

  1. Patrick Kane
  2. P.K. Subban
  3. Jonathan Toews
  4. Patrik Laine
  5. Vladimir Tarasenko

Pacific

  1. Connor McDavid
  2. Brent Burns
  3. Johnny Gaudreau
  4. Anze Kopitar
  5. Joe Thornton

Fans can vote at NHL.com/vote through Jan. 2. The game will take place on Jan. 29 in Los Angeles.

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