Hopely Captures Consecutive Wins at Marine Corps Historic Half

More than 6,800 completed three distances during tenth anniversary of the event

by Tami Faram

QUANTICO, VA (May 21, 2017) – Mark Hopely ran past throngs of cheering spectators at the tenth anniversary of the Marine Corps Historic Half to achieve back-to-back wins at the event in his hometown of Fredericksburg. Hopely finished the 13.1-mile Historic Half ahead of 5,177 total finishers in 1:10:38 today, beating his winning finish time last year of 1:11:06. Hopely became the fourth fastest finisher of the Historic Half over the past ten years.

"It was surprising, I didn't expect to win a second time, I know there's a lot of good runners out there," said Hopley. "The course support was great yet again with a lot of people cheering you on and I had students out there cheering, 'come on Mr. Hopely,' so it’s really nice to be encouraged like that." Hopely is a teacher at Shirley C. Heim Middle School in Stafford VA and Cross Country Coach at North Stafford High School.

Taking second place among the male Historic Half runners was Nick Reed, 24, of Fairfax VA, who finished in 1:12:47. Just under a minute behind was Marine Capt. Sean Barrett, 32, of San Diego, CA finishing in 1:13:38. Barrett was also the top military finisher of the Marine Corps Historic Half receiving an award from BAE Systems.

Alexandra Cassar, 31, of Bellevue, NE took top honors among all female runners finishing in 1:29:36. This was the Nebraska runner's first Marine Corps Historic Half. "Obviously there are two miles…10 and 11 that are a little challenging but they’re not terrible … I had fun," Cassar said.

Finishing in second and third place among Historic Half women were two more hometown runners, Amy Huerta, 41, who completed the event in 1:30:27, and Tracy Dzibela, 39, finished just seconds behind in 1:30:42.

Runners also participated in the Semper 5ive presented by Navy Federal Credit Union with 1,186 total finishers. Winning that event and capturing the new course record by almost three minutes was Yonel Admasu, 20, of Fairfax, VA, who completed the five-mile run in 27:20. Admasu was followed in second place by Fredericksburg native Kyle Pfohl, 22, who finished in 27:59. John Robertson, 31, of Lexington, VA finished third in 30:17.

The newest event of Historic Half Weekend is the Devil Dog Double with runners taking on the challenge of completing both, the Semper 5ive and the Historic Half marathon, scaling Hospital Hill twice and covering 18.1 miles of roadway. Joshua Novack, 36 of Annandale, VA won first place among 454 Devil Dog finishers. Stefanie, Shimansky, 27, of Winter Springs, FL became the first-place Devil Dog female completing the event.