They say that neither rain, sleet or snow will stop the mail but I know for a fact that an approaching hurricane, being hit by a car, a stress fracture, running through burn pit smoke and dangerous heat and/or humidity has not stopped members of the team "For Those Who Can't."
Five years ago I learned how one man left his mark,literally, in the dirt on Okinawa. His wife "was first told that her husband probably wouldn’t make it through the night. The couple was then told that he would never walk again.
“I told them, ‘I’ll let you know my time when I run my first marathon,’” he said. "This year’s Marine Corps Marathon (MCM) will be the fifth he has run with the team he created."
How do you train for a marathon while on crutches? Simple! "Use your on-line training buddy for inspiration" relates one team member.
"Team For Those Who Can't" was founded by a Marine (Jon White) who refused to accept that he would never walk again. Back in 2007, he founded his team, running his first marathon along with his wife and son. Each year his goal is the same, "....I just want to cross that finish line."
One franchise restaurant owner needed to chose a charitable cause to support. Realizing that most of his customer's were connected to a Marine he picked the Semper Fi Fund which supports all services.
Have you ever wondered about what a marathon training schedule involves? Prepping for a marathon is not something one decides to do a few weeks out from the race.
First off, you should be running on a regular basis for at least 6 months and have a base mileage of 12-15 miles a week. Secondly, you will need to dedicate yourself to running/cross-training 5 days a week for the next 20 weeks.
Jon runs in various half-marathons throughout the year to stay in shape for the MCM. He only runs ONE marathon a year. Along the way he has collected a bit of bling! He has inspired friends and colleagues to run in the MCM each year also. This year, after crossing the finish line he will be able to join a special group, the MCM Runners Club. Not only will he have run the MCM 5 times, he will have done it in 5 successive years. Not such a big deal? He is still active duty, flying in from overseas several times, across the country and trained on multiple continents.
I have known Jon since 2005 and have recently taken several "working vacations" with him to a third world country. It took him a bit to convince me to come along. It is pretty hard to say no to him. I was shocked to realize that he spends most of his family vacations doing these "working vacations." Trust me, they are work, I came back exhausted but a better person for having gone!
I had my game plan for this year's race.....what to carry in my backpack, what mile markers I would be standing near to watch for the members of "Team For Those Who Can't" during the marathon. I even had my husband, his sister and nephew coming out to cheer them on. After all, this was to be my 2nd year watching the racers! I was excited!!! Suddenly I get an email notification saying my registration for the MCM 10k race had been confirmed.......say WHAT?!!!!!
Did you know that Marines can be downright sneaky??! That includes my daughter who was in on this! So much for my marathon day plans! Yes, I could have said, "No thanks!" I almost did, but I couldn't let Jon down. He is not one to set you up for failure, but he will set that bar high! His wife, a Marine veteran, signed up for the MCM 10k also. She has strict instructions to drag me across the finish line if I fall or can't make it under my own steam. It is only 6.2 miles..........that is chump change compared to the 26.2 miles you run for a marathon!
Right now though, they are in need of a boost. With the 2012 Marathon less than a week away, they are still 9% short of their team goal.
They are $468 short of their $5,000 goal for the team. Yes, some of the team members are above their goal, but this is a "team" effort and the team is looking for more donations!!
Every dollar donated goes to help our wounded military members. Jon was once part of that community of wounded in need of help.....now he is on the other side of that equation once again....and trying his hardest to earn your support while supporting his brothers-in-arms!
I have seen the following statement and I believe Jon lives up to this in more ways than one......
A Veteran is someone who, at one point in his life wrote a blank check Made payable to "The United States of America " for an amount of "up to and including my life". That is Honor, and there are way too many people in This country who no longer understand it."
Jon chose to run for the Semper Fi Fund. He could have just entered the MCM with no fundraising requirements. He and his wife have made way too many visits to various hospitals overseas and stateside visiting his Marines and their friends who have been injured. He not only walks the walk and talks the talk........he goes the distance......one marathon...a 26.2 mile race once a year "For Those Who Can't."
He truthfully can say........Been there, done that! Can you???
Team fundraiser page: