BENEFITING: Innocence Project
ORGANIZER: Innocence Project
EVENT DATE: Nov 03, 2013
I am excited to be running in the ING New York City Marathon with Team Innocence Project (IP). IP is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization which works to free those innocent Americans who have been wrongly convicted and suffer unjustly.
I want to begin by thanking my biggest supporters who have each made this page possible in one way or another. My mother, father, and brother, friends from Europe to New York to Tennessee to the West Coast, Naval Academy classmates, rugby teammates, skydiving and aviation mentors, flight school buddies and their families, and my girlfriend, Lauren.
I am a proud Naval Academy alum, an AV-8B Harrier pilot and an active duty captain in the Marine Corps. I grew up in Columbia, Tennessee, and I currently live in Alexandria, VA, without cable television. When I am not running 26.2 miles, I stay busy challenging popular opinion by playing devil’s advocate. I also entertain myself with skydiving, taking ballroom dance lessons and yoga, and trying out my recent bartending certificate on friends. Given the choice, I prefer handwritten letters and maps over text messages and GPS. The quality of my week is usually determined by whether I get to the grocery store on Sundays, and at least one power nap per day is essential. My eyes watered when the Red Sox finally reversed the curse in the 2004 World Series, and my favorite song of all time is “You Shook Me All Night Long” by AC/DC.
Years ago, I put marathons and triathlons on my bucket list, and after each race, I find myself asking the same question: “Am I really this slow”? That keeps me motivated to race again. For this marathon, something more important drives me. A few months ago, I anticipated hanging up my racing gear after a triathlon in early October. However, when given the opportunity to join IP and run the ING New York City Marathon, I did not hesitate.
I found IP after enduring my own unfortunate circumstances of being wrongly convicted (details in the University of Michigan’s National Registry of Exonerations) and spending one year in confinement. In 2012, justice was finally served when the court – only one step below the U.S. Supreme Court – unanimously voted that the conviction was unjust and that the case would be dismissed. While learning first-hand that our justice system too often does not get it right, I have gained a greater appreciation for the peace and the empowerment that comes with forgiveness. Justice was eventually served here, but cases like mine are far too common. Innocent people are still behind bars with their loved ones suffering on the outside.
This experience has also taught me that those of us in the military have to advocate for the entire Constitution and justice in all its forms – not only justice according to our own self-serving motives and desires. If we fail to do so, then our oath to support and to defend the Constitution, to fight for the innocent and for what is right, is betrayed
With your help, I use this effort to help advance the work of the Innocence Project so that other innocent Americans can be shielded from the same injustice. On November 3rd, I will run the New York City Marathon for a much bigger reason than checking off a bucket list item. I will run 26.2 unrestrained miles, symbolically proving that I am no longer a victim of injustice. Instead I am a victor over it. Now vindicated, I run in support of the innocent who seek their own exoneration.
Stay tuned for info on the livefeed on the day of the marathon.