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December 11, 2018

Local family gets together at Marine Corps Marathon
The Mann family post-race after the Marine Corps Marathon.
The Mann family post-race after the Marine Corps Marathon.

The Mann family runners joined 30,000 others in Arlington, Virginia, on October 28, 2018, to run the Marine Corps Marathon.

John Mann (68) of Zumbrota took up running many ago, his wife, Diane joined several years later. His three children, Theresa Faustini of River Falls, WI, Karla Mann of New Prague, MN, and Tom Mann of Lonsdale, MN, eventually followed suit.

In 2015, the Mann family ran their first full 26.2 together, the Twin Cities marathon, and at the time, John had stated that marathon, his 20th, would be his last.. John has now completed 22 full marathons.

The Mann family and a few friends, set out to run the Marine Corps Marathon together to honor and remember all who served in the armed forces; John, himself, a marine who had served in the Vietnam war, and also Diane's brother's, Bradley and Bruce Banitt, also Marines and Vietnam vets who lost their lives in 2014 and 2015, respectively, from the long-term effects of Agent-Orange.

The Marine Corps Marathon, a daunting yet somber marathon, tests the limits of the human spirit, by staging gauntlets to ensure runners maintain a certain pace, and the emotional Blue Mile, where the streets are lined with pictures of fallen soldiers. Runners were never alone on the course as thousands of spectators from all over the world came to watch and cheer. Marines lined the course to encourage runners, hand out water and electrolytes, and also place the ever-coveted finisher medal around the necks of those who crossed the finish line by the cut-off time. Of the 30,000 participants who crossed the starting line, only 20,000 were received with medals at the finish.

While in the Washington DC area, the Mann family also took in some famous and important sites; the Lincoln Memorial, the Vietnam Memorial, the World War II Memorial, the Korean War Memorial, the Washington monument, and the Holocaust museum. While recovery is the most pressing thing to focus on after a marathon, the Mann family runners have no plans to hang up their running shoes just yet.

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