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Defending champion races to another victory at Quantico 12K

Woodbridge resident, Jonathan Ladson, 32 years old, defended his title as the Quantico 12K overall winner with a scorching time of 43:11  on Saturday morning aboard Marine Corps Base Quantico on the grounds of the Officer Candidate School. Ladson was the first of 630 runners who rose to the challenge and completed the 7.46 mile event.

“Of course, the hills were still there, so it was still pretty challenging,” expressed Ladson. “Although I did have the course record in the back of my mind, I didn’t focus too much on it. I just wanted to truly leave it all out there on the course.”

Ladson continues his Marine Corps Marathon Organization (MCMO) event excellence, once again placing in the top two of events entered in 2023 much like the previous year; second place at the Marine Corps 17.75K in March and winning the Devil Dog Double in May.

He was followed by Tyler Harry of Arlington, Va., age 16, and Gaston Schmitt of Fredericksburg, Va., age 32. Their times were 48:18 and 48:43, respectfully.

The top female was Elizabeth Rodriguez from Allentown, Pa., age 27, finishing with a time of 51:17. “I loved it. It was such a great race,” said Rodriguez. “Everything was really well run and, while the course was challenging, it was still fulfilling, like running up and down those hills and seeing everybody and cheering along, it was such a great race.”

Rodriguez traveled from Nellis Air Force Base outside of Las Vegas, Nev. where she is currently stationed. She will be transitioning into the Marine Corps in 2024 and will make her return to the OCS’s training grounds, this time as a student instead of just a runner.

Coming in second for the females was Natala Balla, 29 years old, from Trevose, Pa. with a time of 53:26, followed by Hannah Montague, 28 years old, from Alexandria, Va. with a third place time of 54:00.

Unofficial results are available at

Another 85 runners took on the 7.46 miles virtually from August 12 to August 27.

The Quantico 12K presented by Stafford County Tourism marks the third tier of the 2023 Distinguished Participant program. Runners took the first two steps in becoming distinguished earlier this year by finishing the live Marine Corps 17.75K and one of the live Marine Corps Historic Half events.

Runners may continue their commitment to running with the Marines by participating in the Turkey Trot 10K and Mile, also running aboard Marine Corps Base Quantico on November 18.  There are also entries still available for the MCM Kids Run on October 28 in Arlington, Va. and the MCM10K in the nation’s capital on October 29. Registration is open at

Photos courtesy Marine Corps Marathon

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