Next month's Marine Corps 17.75-kilometer race will be dedicated to the Marine veteran who was gunned down during her first shift as a police officer last month in Virginia.
The Marine Corps Marathon's 17.75K, which is held in Virginia's Prince William County, will honor Ashley Guindon, a police officer for that county who was killed Feb. 27 while responding to a domestic disturbance.
Army Staff Sgt. Ronald Hamilton allegedly shot Guindon and two of her colleagues after they responded to a call at his home; Guindon was the only police casualty. According to court documents, Hamilton admitted to shooting the officers and his wife, Crystal Hamilton, who also died at the scene.
The decision to dedicate the race to Guindon wasn’t difficult, Tami Faram, a spokeswoman for the Marine Corps Marathon told Marine Corps Times.
“Truly, it just made sense,” she said.
Guindon joined the Marine Corps in 2007 and served in the Reserve until 2015. She was assigned to 4th Marine Logistics Group and served as a field radio operator and personnel retrieval and processing specialist.
Faram said the tragic incident highlighted the common ethos between the Marine Corps and the Prince William County Police Department. That left the marathon staff feeling compelled to act, she said.
“We felt like we wanted to do something," Faram said.
The sold-out event slated for April 2 has also made room for Guindon’s friends, colleagues and loved ones to run in her honor, according to a news release. Faram said that officers from the Prince William County Police Department, rescue personnel, firefighters and others will join the pool of 2,000 pre-registered runners.
The police-led team will don T-shirts emblazoned with the names of four Prince William County police officers who were killed while serving their communities: Officers Chris Yung, Mike Pennington, Paul T. White Jr. and Guindon.
For those interested in participating, Faram said there’s still time.
“If someone knew the officer or the family, we would love to hear from them,” she said, advising parties to contact the Prince William County Police Department's public information officer at 703-792-5123 or JPerok@pwcgov.org.
The 11.03-mile race will start in Manassas and conclude in Prince William Forest Park. Full race details are available on the Marine Corps Marathon's website.
Jennifer-Leigh Oprihory is the Early Bird Brief Editor at Military Times and Defense News. She also does breaking news and general assignment reporting for Military Times. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.