Monday, April 18, 2005

The Iraq/Boston Marathon

I thought this was pretty cool. This isn't the first dual city marathon for deployed troops.

Monday on Patriot's Day, as 20,400 runners tackle America's oldest marathon, in Boston, 265 soldiers in southern Iraq will be joining them in spirit to run the first-ever "Iraq/Boston Marathon."
The Iraq/Boston Marathon is one of several races run by deployed soldiers over the past half-year that have been complete with T-shirts, timing chips, and finisher medals. In December, 184 soldiers and civilians working for the U.S. military ran a marathon in the thin air of Tirin Kot, Afghanistan, timed to finish just a few hours before the Honolulu Marathon began. Last August, 10 runners finished the Baghdad International Freedom Marathon inside the Green Zone. A month earlier, 250 runners competed in the Peachtree Roadrace Baghdad Division, coinciding with Atlanta's world-famous 10K race.
Many of the soldiers participating are not regular runners, but support from the organizers of the Boston Marathon and Outdoor Life Network (OLN) helped to spark interest. All finishers of the Iraq/Boston Marathon will receive official Boston Marathon medals. OLN plans to televise portions of the run as it winds past some of Iraq's most famous archaeological and religious sites, and it will give troops a chance to send greetings to loved ones back home.

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