By Richard Campbell
This past Saturday the 17th Annual Boston Marine Corps 5K Honor Run was dedicated to Lance Corporal Alexander Scott Arredondo, USMC, of Randolph, MA. Arredondo was deployed several times with the 1st Battalion 4th Marines between 2003 and 2004 and was killed in action in the city of A Najaf, Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom on August 25th, 2004. Although he was only 20 years old when he passed on, all accounts of this young soldier’s life revealed a person who touched many lives, was very athletic, and demonstrated significant leadership skills on and off the battle field.
Representatives for most of the Massachusetts military services and first responders from Boston were well in evidence, performing security and ceremonial duties before the race progressed. Their dedication to the memory of Arredondo was shown in multiple ways. The audience was reminded that Arredondo was decorated posthumously receiving the Navy & Marine Corps Commendation medal with Combat “V”, Presidential Unit Citation, the Good Conduct Medal, Sea Service Deployment, with a Bronze Star and Purple Heart. His father, Carlos Arredondo, was on hand wearing his trademark Cowboy hat to accept an award in his son’s name at the dedication, and to encourage runners at the finish line.
This race is dubbed as the fastest, flattest race course in Boston, and in high contrast to the Boston Marathon, the weather was sunny with a slight breeze. Marine Cadets lead a pre-race warm up, and some 1,300 participants were sent to the start line by their times in coordinated groups. The Men’s division winner was Michael French, of Coventry RI, with a time of 16:02, in second for the Men’s was Eric Mendoza of Dorchester, MA at 16:08, and third was Jesus Solis, from Cambridge, MA at 16:56. Leading the Women’s group was Ruodi Duan, of Cambridge, MA with a time of 20:18, followed by Audra Cabey, Westwood, MA at 20:39, and Hannah Doolittle of Sandwich, MA coming in at 20:41. Wayne Ross of Scituate, MA took first place in the Wheel Chair Division with at time of 33:42.
The Military team winner was RWB, who comprised of Brent Mullen, Erika Leach, Keith Nguyen, Scott Bazin, Sean Horgan, and Ali Kleyman. The Law Enforcement Team winner was Probation, comprised of Christopher Foster, Ryan Skal, Brett Wingard, Justin Prophet, Ashley Berry, Doris Fitzpatrick, and Taylor Wertz. Lynn English High won the Marine Corps Junior ROTC, whose members included Edwin Ramos, Kevin Deleen, Bryan Fresco, Kevin Biv, Frandy Negrin, Leiva Raul, and Brian Ponce.
The race was produced by Conventures Group in cooperation with many sponsors including: Massachusetts DCR, City of Boston, The Marine Corps Scholarship Fund, Semper Fidelis Society Boston, LEEDE, 511 Tactical, Technical Office Solutions, Bark Thins, Elliot Physical Therapy, New England Carpenters Group, Global Rescue, and Colony Hardware. The race raised awareness for families in the service, and funds for the Marine Corps Scholarships, and The Arredondo Foundation. The prizes for the winners were various gift cards, vacation stays, and signed sports memorabilia, but the real prize was seeing the looks of accomplishment and community throughout the event.