One decade ago, I committed to run my first competitive race, the MCM 10K. I earned a medal for completing the race. It was a small, but meaningful, reward for the weeks of preparation leading up to the main event. More importantly, I had an opportunity to cheer for thousands of other runners that day. Runners who had committed to a much longer distance (over 42km!) and had sacrificed many more months of preparation for running the main event.
My friend, who serves in the Air Force, was running the long race with his father. Months of running, years of planning, and decades of MCM history added up to a memorable day for them to run together. Being supported during the race by men and women who sacrifice their time and lives in service to our country while having the privilege to run along with thousands of other service members became a new goal of mine that day.
Fast forward to last year, when I ran my first Marathon, the 41st Marine Corps Marathon. I had the privilege to run with my Army and Coast Guard veteran neighbors and experience the joy (and anguish, at times!) of running up and down hills, over and under bridges, through parks and developments, past Memorials and museums, and finally up to the Marine Corps Memorial Finish line! Running with warriors and other amazing athletes, I finally found out what it was like to have a Marine place the finisher's medal around my neck. The medal symbolized the many years of mental preparation, months of physical sacrifice, and a perpetual spiritual journey.
This year I run in honor of someone else. Someone who has lived and died on behalf of our great country to defend our freedom. I'm running with Team Medals of Honor, an organization that lets families know their loved ones will never be forgotten. Running with and being cheered for by our nation's Armed Forces and their families and friends is one thing I can do to lift up their memories and bring attention to their amazing sacrifices. When I finish the race on October 22nd this year, my Finisher's medal from the Marine Corps Marathon will go in a care package to a family, as a token of gratitude for all they have endured. Your support will help continue this mission for thousands of other service members and runners.
Medals of Honor is a 501(c)(3) organization and your donation is fully tax-deductible. Your entire donation will go toward their remembrance packages, enduring heroes sponsorships, and connecting heroes. For more information, go to http://www.medalsofhonor.org - Thank you for your consideration and see you on October 22 at the 42nd MCM!!