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.