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Samuel Yakulis makes his way up Prince Edward Street near mile 7 of the Marine Corps Historic Half marathon. Yakulis, a North Stafford graduate, took first overall with a time of 1:13.27. (Photo by Joey LoMonaco)

Yakulis’ 13.1-mile debut isn’t Half bad

by | May 19, 2024 | ALLFFP, Fredericksburg, Sports

Even as he dominated its undercard event, the Semper 5ive miler, Samuel Yakulis had been pondering a jump to the Marine Corps Historic Half marathon. 

When Yakulis learned that the five-mile race wouldn’t be held this year, the decision to enter was made for him. 

“I was like, well, it’s now or never,” said Yakulis, a 2022 North Stafford High School graduate who won the Semper 5ive last May.  

On Sunday, Yakulis made his 13.1-mile debut, and the outcome wasn’t half bad. 

With a time of 1:13.27, he crossed the finish line in first place overall on a mild, dewy morning. Nearly 4,600 runners were registered for Sunday’s race, which kicked off at 6 a.m. in Central Park with Fredericksburg Mayor Kerry Devine serving as honorary starter.  

Yakulis trailed eventual runner-up Jonathan Ladson as the race snaked up Washington Avenue toward the historic district of downtown Fredericksburg, only overtaking Ladson around Mile 9. 

“I just tried to drop him before the hill,” Yakulis said of the infamous upslope near Mary Washington Hospital, “because I knew if we got to the hill together, he’d probably beat me.  

“Because he’s a really strong runner. I tried to gap him as much as I could before I got to the hill, and it worked out for me.” 

Fredericksburg resident James Volk (1:17.34) also recorded a top-10 overall finish. In the women’s event, Fredericksburg’s Natalie Daniels took top honors with a time of 1:24.12. Daniels also won the women’s race in 2022.  

Yakulis just finished his sophomore year at Virginia Tech, where he runs on the club track and field team.  

He attributes his reticence to entering the Historic Half in past years to its longer distance. On the Hokies’ club track and field team, Yakulis runs the 1,500 meters and other medium-to-long distance events. 

“I was hoping just to be up there and compete as long as I could,” he said of competing in his first half marathon. “Winning was obviously in the back of my mind, but it wasn’t the main goal.” 

Even after Sunday’s success, Yakulis doesn’t envision becoming a fixture on the marathon circuit.  

“Maybe when I’m older,” he said with a laugh.  

Marine Corps Historic Half

Results

Overall: 1. Samuel Yakulis, Stafford 1:13.27; 2. Jonathan Ladson, Woodbridge 1:14:33; 3. James Erickson, Woodberry Forest 1:15.55.

Men: 1. Samuel Yakulis, Stafford 1:13.27; 2. Jonathan Ladson, Woodbridge 1:14:33; 3. James Erickson, Woodberry Forest 1:15.55.

Women: 1. Natalie Daniels, Fredericksburg, 1:24.12; 2. Grace Vandegrift, Washington, D.C. 1:27.39; 3. Stacy Mercer, Charlotte, N.C. 1:29.19.

Masters female: 1. Andrea Rodman, Bealeton 1:38.27; 2. Jenny Colegate, Lorton 1:38.55; 3. Tatjana Romulus, Stafford 1:41.06.

Masters male: 1. Mike Mason, Stafford 1:20.34; 2. Joseph Galvin, Camp Lejeune, N.C. 1:23.11; 3. Jason Carter, Stafford 1:24.44.

Grandmasters female: 1. Julie Croushorn, Hoover, Ala. 1:41.49; 2. Catherine Miller, Spotsylvania 1:43.43; 3. Kathy Coburn, Gainesville 1:45.34.

Grandmasters male: 1. Patrick Baier, Bethesda, Md. 1:31.16; 2. Shyam Krishnan, Potomac, Md. 1:31.36; 3. Mark Hudjohn, Stafford 1:33.29.

Athletes with impairments: 1. Everette Pennington, Castleton 3:32.17.

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