Enduring the pain for those in need

Ultra-marathoner looking to complete 50-mile race in 13 hours to help raise awareness, money for the Wounded Warrior Project.

April 27, 2011|By Seth Davenport, Special to the Daily Pilot
  • Newport Beach's Seth Davenport trains to support Wounded Warriors.
Newport Beach's Seth Davenport trains to support… (Courtesy Judith…)

Last November, the story of a Marine who ran from Florida to Texas carrying the American flag to raise awareness for the Wounded Warrior Project touched me. The WWP is a nonprofit that helps physically and psychologically injured soldiers readjust to their civilian lives back home.

The Marine's story was a calling for me to participate. Later, while driving down Coast Highway in Corona Del Mar, I felt guilty for how wonderful life is for all of us here and how often we forget about the sacrifices that our soldiers and Marines make for us. The day-to-day issues that we may struggle with are trivial in comparison with what our servicemen and women struggle with after ending their tours of duty. I decided that, to make a difference, I needed to do something impressive, dramatic, and beyond the comprehension of most people.

So on Saturday, I will begin a 50-mile, 13-hour trail race at Lake Hughes, west of Lancaster and Palmdale, which will take me along the Leona Truck Trail and Pacific Crest Trail. I will be running in the Leona Divide race, an off-road race in those mountains, where the elevation ranges from 3500 feet to 5500 feet above sea level, is tough enough, even more so while weighing 235 pounds.


I have set a goal of raising $100,000 for the Wounded Warrior Project and, to date, I have raised more than $40,000.

While the experience to get to this point has been a painful and a time-consuming one, it has also been single-handedly the most rewarding experience of my life. The old quote "when you give, you get twice back" is a gross understatement of fact.

I have been touched by the stories of mothers whose children were injured in battle, Marines who lost dear friends, and veterans who were personally aided by the project itself. The amount of generosity people have showered us with has been astounding.

Most people equate the completion of an ultra-marathon to the same physiological experience of a high-speed auto accident. I will suffer through a tremendous amount of pain, both physically and mentally. Without a doubt, the most motivating thing that will keep me going as a I struggle along is how easy my life is compared with a wounded veteran's life upon returning to civilian life. For me, this will be the greatest mental test I have ever attempted to take on.

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