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NEWS | Jan. 20, 2022

Husband & wife MEDCoE doctoral students run to top spots in San Antonio Rock ’n’ Roll Marathon

By David DeKunder 502nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

A husband and wife who are doctoral students at the U.S. Army Medical Center of Excellence, or MEDCoE, at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, made their mark running in the 2021 Humana Rock ’n’ Roll San Antonio Marathon Dec. 4, 2021.

First Lt. Colin Marz was the overall winner in the marathon, while 1st Lt. Kristina Marz placed fifth in the women’s division. The couple are graduate students in the Army-Baylor University Doctoral Program in Physical Therapy at MEDCoE. More than 14,000 people took part in the marathon.

Colin, 27, crossed the finish line in 2 hours, 43 minutes and 2 seconds on the 26.2-mile course which goes through the downtown streets and neighborhoods of San Antonio. The time was a personal best for him. Kristina, 25, also set a personal best time of 3 hours, 15 minutes and 3 seconds.

Colin said it was a surreal experience winning a marathon for the first time in his running career.

“It was a unique experience, it was cool to soak that in,” he said. “The first thing I do is thank God because that’s the most important thing with running for me, at least, is offering the relative gift that I’m given and just thanking God for the opportunity to run and do a thing I love and enjoy.”

Colin took the lead in the race at the 20-mile mark on the course when he passed up the eventual runner-up Jon Day.

After he crossed the finish line, Colin said he wanted to know how Kristina was doing in her race.

“I wanted to see where Kristina was at in terms of tracking her on the race app,” Colin said. “That was also a forefront on my mind.”

Kristina said she felt good about her performance in the race, even though she didn’t achieve her goal time of 3 hours and 8 minutes, coming up seven minutes short of that time.

“I really had a hard time in the second half of the race because I came out way too fast, but the ultimate goal is always to just finish, so I met that goal at least,” she said.

“It was definitely cool to finish in the top five,” Kristina added. “I think one of the coolest things about running, though, is that you’re constantly competing with yourself and so while it’s nice to have that competitive edge and compete with those around you, it’s also consistently trying to beat your last time. It’s kind of a never-ending competition with yourself. I think that’s where a lot of my motivation comes from, to keep moving forward and the motivation to want to run more races and just see what you can do.”

Colin said he and Kristina decided to run in the Rock’ n ‘Roll San Antonio Marathon because 2022 will be busy for them, as they will be devoting most of their time finishing up their studies and taking exams in the doctoral physical therapy program. They are both scheduled to graduate in August.

Both Kristina and Colin ran their first marathons in 2019. They met through the doctoral physical therapy program at MEDCoE. The couple celebrated their one-year wedding anniversary Jan. 16.

Colin said their relationship grew through running and that they encourage, support and push each other to get better.

He said there was one instance in which he had gone on a 5-mile run during school. When Colin got home, he received a text from Kristina stating she had run 7 miles that day. Colin said he then went on a 3-mile run to push his total of mileage he ran that day to eight.

“I think one of biggest things is that we both understand it’s an important thing, not just to us as individuals, but for our overall health and well-being,” Colin said. “It’s a healthy competition of you setting the standard today so now I have to set the standard, too.”

The couple says they plan to continue running marathons in the future and they are considering running in an ultramarathon, a 50-miler, which will be held in April in Smithville, Texas, located approximately 45 miles east of Austin.