BAGHDAD - Soldier with the 56th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, Multi-National Division-Baghdad tested their endurance in the 108th Field Artillery Memorial Day Marathon on Camp Taji.

Nearly 450 Soldiers took part in the event - the largest of its kind in Camp Taji history - which kicked off with opening ceremonies at 4:30 a.m. The race itself began at 5 a.m. in a planned effort to mitigate the mid-day temperatures, which average 110 degrees this time of year.

Organizers with the Los Angeles Marathon helped support the race with numbers, t-shirts and other items. "I think that many of the Soldiers were excited because we were shadowing the L.A. Marathon" said Lt. Jeremy Arnett, a member of the 108th Field Artillery and race organizer. "The turnout was greater than I expected."

Twelve Soldiers were recognized for their times in race.

Full Marathon top finishers:

1st Place Male: John Marotta, 508th Military Police Battalion, 3:26:24

1st Place Female: Ellen Burke, Co. C, 328th Support Battalion, 4:07:44

2nd Place Male: Gerald Luis, 2/104 Cavalry, 3:31:41

2nd Place Female: Karen Bender, Headquarters, 56th Brigade, 4:25:55

3rd Place Male: Carlos Carrion, Co. C, 1/108 Field Artillery, 3:42:00

3rd Place Female: Dan Nadon-Rzasa, Headquarters, 56th Brigade, 4:54:57

Half Marathon top finishers:

1st Place Male: Stephen Tekirian, HHC 56 BDE, 1:27:25

1st Place Female: Megan Day, 10th Sustainment Brigade, 1:50:00

2nd Place Male: Harland Yu, Co. A, 1/112 Infantry, 1:28:00

2nd Place Female: Deborah Daley, 10th Sustainment Brigade, 1:51:30

3rd Place Male: John Burton, Headquarters, 1/111 Infantry, (time was not taken)

3rd Place Female: Phoenicia Lewis, 556 Military Intelligence Company, 1:53:00