According to the Marine Corps Marathon’s Hall of Fame, the Penguin Award was created for Major Megan McClung, posthumously. The site states, “Maj. Megan McClung served 11 years in the U.S. Marine Corps before tragically becoming the first woman Marine officer to be killed in the War in Iraq on December 2006. McClung’s connection to the MCM began simply, as a participant. She ran the MCM in 2001, 2004 and 2005. In 2006, while deployed on active duty in Iraq, McClung approached the MCM requesting to coordinate the MCM “in country” for service members deployed overseas, eventually organizing MCM Forward. Since then, MCM Forward annually has included hundreds of service members from all military branches, running from Forward Operating Bases and on U.S. Navy ships. At MCM Forward, McClung encouraged everyone to put forth his or her best effort and established the Penguin Award providing acknowledgement to the final runner that completed the 26.2 miles. In continuing the tradition at the MCM and in McClung’s memory, the Paul the Penguin Award is presented to the final official MCM finisher each year.
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