This past Saturday I completed my first 10K race. I have been focusing on running for the past few months and even signed up for what I thought was a pretty competitive year: a 5K in March, two 10K's in April and a 5K in Washington D.C. with a half marathon at the end of the year.
"Four races in one year with a half marathon at the end?" I must be nuts, I thought. Well ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce you to my friend Jerry..
Many people train for a year to run a marathon, which is running continuously for 26.2 miles. Considering I've never really ran prior this year, training for my10K seemed a daunting enough task! Jerry Giglia is going to run 26 marathons and an Ironman.. All within the time span of one year. And if that's not enough of a wow factor, 100% of the proceeds he raises will be donated to his charity of choice " Freedom Is Not Free."
"You may wonder why I am running all of these races, other than for a personal goal." says Jerry, "I am running to raise money for disabled veterans and the families of fallen soldiers, a charity called Freedom Is Not Free. I have been in the Army for 7 years now, and have seen many horrible things. During this deployment, I lost a very good friend. I'm not sure I'll ever stop feeling the pain of combat. It's something that stays with you forever. I've seen good men die, and tough men cry, and one thing I am sure of is, it never gets any easier. I want to honor my brothers the best way I know how, by running a lot of races to raise funds and awareness for a cause that badly needs it."
We've all wondered about our loved one's thoughts when it comes to a deployment and I can honestly say I've never heard a response that resonated to me as much prior to this. Although Jerry's currently deployed, that has not prevented him from running and has actually proven to be beneficial in a way,"I can't run as fast as Iusually can back in the states, evenat full effort. It is good training though."
Jerry originally planned on being back home in time for his first marathon but Army land had other plans. (Something I'm sure we're all too familiar with!) But not even being in a war zone would stop him and on that day he went out to run. He actually took it one step further, pausing to record every two miles to prove he was actually out there for the full 26.2 miles.
As for me, my new goal is to run a half marathon by October. I also have one of the shirts from Jerry's site and plan on wearing it to each race I complete. After all, he was the one who managed to talk me into doing a half marathon and it's hard not to be motivated,
"This isn't a story about a soldier who runs marathons. This is the story about a marathon runner that got sent to a combat zone...and would let nothing keep him from his dreams. It's marathon time. And if your name is SGT Giglia, it's ALWAYS marathon time. Let's DO this."
One down, 25 to go..
His website can be found here.There is a schedule listed of all the marathons he'll be completing and if you happen to be in one of the towns, be sure to show him some SpouseBUZZ love! Nothing beats seeing a loved one or friend, cheering you on and supporting you at a race.
You can also follow Jerry's year long progress through his Facebook page, located here.
Posing with the Easter bunny sometime during mile 4 of the 10K.