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Active Duty and veterans compete in Boston Marathon and Tough Ruck

April 17th, 2019 by MOTHAX

Active Duty and veterans compete in Boston Marathon and Tough Ruck

This story has been making the rounds, and I wanted to share it as well, if mainly because there were numerous similiar displays that I saw in Massachusetts this weekend.

From Marine Corp Times:

A viral video from Monday’s Boston Marathon shows Marine veteran Micah Herndon crawling across the finish line to complete his race after suffering from severe leg cramps.

The 31-year-old Marine vet told the Record-Courier that he entered the Boston Marathon in honor of three comrades who lost their lives in an IED explosion in Afghanistan in 2010.

“I went from being in a war zone one day to trying to live a normal life the next day. We were going on three or more missions a day, constantly on guard and when I got back home, I was still in that mode. I never will be able to get over it, I don’t think, but I am coping. I am trying to get rid of the demons," Herndon told the Record-Courier.

During the race, Herndon wore the names of the three who lost their lives in the Afghanistan IED blast on the his shoes, according to a Facebook photo.

According to race statistics, Herndon completed the Boston Marathon in three hours and 38 minutes and finished 11,334 overall.

Here is video of that from CBS News:

But here's a lesser known race that takes place the day before, one that I was proud to compete in myself this weekend:

One day before the Boston Marathon took place, hundreds took part in the 2019 Tough Ruck Marathon. Participants completed the 26.2-mile course from Concord to Boston while wearing rucksacks weighing up to 35 pounds.

The event honors fallen service members and first responders. It also raises money for military families and others in need.

If you are a history buff, then this race is AWESOME for reasons unrelated to the cause itself.   The course starts and ends at the Old North Bridge, the spot made famous as the "Shot Heard Round the World" when the American troops first fired on the British Redcoats.  From there it goes all through the town of Concord and then Lexington.  Part of the course takes you right by the place where Paul Revere was captured on his midnight ride.

Here's a short video that shows the start of the race, and coming up on the MInuteman statue that stands guard over the Old North Bridge.

I intend to write a long piece on the race, and the many Legionaires I met out there.  Hopefully I will recover from the blisters and fatigue I have.  Doing 26.2 is fairly ridiclous under the best of circumstances, but doing it in combat boots and carry a ruck with 25 lbs was more than my body could manage without some rest afterward.

I would be remiss if I didn't end with the Concord Hymn, a poem written by Ralph Waldo Emerson, whose house actually sits about 200 meters from the bridge:

By the rude bridge that arched the flood,
   Their flag to April’s breeze unfurled,
Here once the embattled farmers stood
   And fired the shot heard round the world.
The foe long since in silence slept;
   Alike the conqueror silent sleeps;
And Time the ruined bridge has swept
   Down the dark stream which seaward creeps.
On this green bank, by this soft stream,
   We set today a votive stone;
That memory may their deed redeem,
   When, like our sires, our sons are gone.
Spirit, that made those heroes dare
   To die, and leave their children free,
Bid Time and Nature gently spare

   The shaft we raise to them and thee.

Editor's Note: That's me in the center of the picture with the beard (now shaved). I managed to stumble my way through in 7 hours and 14 minutes, not too shabby.

published | April 19, 2019