Team AMS Crosses Finish Line in 39th Marine Corps Marathon

Surpasses goal of raising more than $50,000 for the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA

   U.S. Air Force Lieutenant Mary Anderson approaches finish line in the 39th Marine Corps Marathon on Sunday, Oct. 26, 2014, in Rosslyn, Va.


 U.S. Air Force Lieutenant Mary Anderson approaches finish line in the 39th Marine Corps Marathon on Sunday, Oct. 26, 2014, in Rosslyn, Va.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – A team of 48 runners representing the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA (AMS), in the 39th Marine Corps Marathon(MCM) and 10K on Sunday surpassed its goal of raising $50,000 for the archdiocese; and even though the race is over, donations will continue to be taken through Sunday, Nov. 2. To donate, go here.

Team AMS comprised men and women from all over the country who converged on the nation’s capital for the race. They included archdiocesan staffers, military personnel, a priest-chaplain and seminarians. Thirty-eight ran the marathon, and 10 ran the 10K.

Richard Blank of Woodbridge, Va., led Team AMS marathon runners across the finish line, completing the 26.2-mile race in three hours, two minutes, and 41 seconds (3:02:41). He was followed by Rev. Mr. Christopher Kral, S.J., of Brighton, Mass., at three hours, 28 minutes, and 44 seconds (03:28:44), and seminarian Nicholas Blank of Woodbridge, Va., at three hours, 32 mintues, and 19 seconds (03:32:19).

Among Team AMS women who completed the marathon, Grace Stevens of Grand Rapids, Mich., finished first at four hours, two minutes and 37 seconds (04:02:37); Casey Bustamante of Irving, TX, came in second at four hours, five minutes, and 33 seconds (04:05:33); and Catherine Lyon of Manassas, Va., finished third at four hours, ten minutes, and 47 seconds (04:10:47).

Marine Corps Reserve Colonel Michael Griffin of Charlotte, N.C., was among Team AMS marathon runners. Crossing the finish line at four hours, 45 minutes, and 22 seconds (04:45:22), Col. Griffin said, “I feel okay. It wasn’t that bad.” But, he laughed, “I wanted to stop probably from mile 20 until the end.” For Col. Griffin, who spent seven years on active duty in the Marines, running to raise money for the AMS was personal. The AMS supports, endorses, and provides faculties for Catholic priests to serve as military chaplains. “I’ve always looked for the Catholic chaplain in every Marine battalion I’ve served with,” he said, “and they’ve never let me down.”

Also completing the marathon with Team AMS was Air Force Lieutenant Mary Anderson of San Antonio, Texas. She finished in four hours, 52 minutes, and 12 seconds (04:52:12). She said she has been spending weekends training for the big race, “and it’s the farthest I’ve ever run so it’s pretty big accomplishment for me today to finish.” Lt. Anderson said, “I have been a member of the archdiocese for almost seven years now. They’ve been good to me and I try to give back.”

All told, 27,394 completed the marathon, and 7,635, the 10K. Army Specialist Samuel Kosgei came in first overall, finishing at two hours, twenty-two minutes and 12 seconds (2:22:12). The top female finisher was Army Captain Meghan Curran at two hours, 51 minutes, and 47 seconds (2:51:47).

His Excellency, the Most Reverend Timothy P. Broglio, J.C.D., Archbishop for the Military Services, expressed his appreciation for the team effort, particularly the role of staffers who organized and coordinated participation.

Archbishop Broglio said:

“Heartfelt congratulations are due to Team AMS for successfully completing the Marine Corps Marathon and 10 K! Special mention is due to Richard Blank and Grace Stevens for being so swift-footed and my Vicar General, Msgr. (John J.M.) Foster for deciding to compete. The entire Archdiocese is grateful to AMS Director of Major Gifts Mary Lavin and development staff members Matthew Lockwood, Angela McDuffie, Carol Nettina and Webmaster Margaret Betit for coordinating so many activities, attending to hundreds of details, raising enthusiasm, and making everything a success. To all of Team AMS, I congratulate you for surpassing your goal.”