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Weber State University’s Army ROTC is encouraging everyone to come out on Saturday for the second annual Wounded Warrior 8K run at the Stewart Stadium.
All proceeds from the race will go to the Wounded Warrior Project. Registration and packet pickup will begin at 6:30 a.m. at the stadium and conclude when the race begins at 9 a.m.
Jeffrey L. Stewart, operations officer for the Army ROTC, had the idea to make the race an 8k instead of the usual 5k.
“There are 10,000 different kinds of 5ks around the country,” Stewart said. “Three miles is just not enough. We have a great 5-mile route here, and it is the right distance for starting and finishing at Stewart Stadium.”
A group of veterans founded the WWP in 2003 to help their fellow service members who were returning home from combat. The goal of the WWP is to help those who incurred a physical or mental injury, illness or wound during military service on or after Sept. 11, 2001.
WWP helps injured service members by sponsoring several programs that help with mental and physical recovery. These programs are aimed to specifically help veterans as they transition into their new lives and experiences.
Project Odyssey is a WWP event that brings fellow veterans together for five days of outdoor recreational activities. Soldier Ride is a cycling trip that lasts four days and is held in cities such as Miami and San Antonio. WWP also has a Transition Training Academy, which helps participants learn information technology trades at various sites around the globe.
David Proctor, recruiting operations officer for the Army ROTC, said the race is a great opportunity for students to support the WWP.
“It is a good way to demonstrate that we are all part of the community and we can all be involved in helping those veterans that have been wounded,” he said.
Michelle Gifford, an English student working on her master’s degree, said she saw the race advertisement on her student portal.
“I saw that it was an 8k, and I like to run,” she said. “I went to the race website and saw that they were raising money for the Wounded Warrior Project. It’s being held for a good cause. If you’re a runner anyway, it’s nice to be a part of something where you can feel the energy that other people bring.”
The race costs $25 for an individual, or $100 for a team consisting of four males and one female.
Proctor said anyone can come and participate in the race.
“People run while pushing strollers. They bring their dogs. We have a lot of people do a combination of running and walking,” he said.
Stewart said 120 runners came out for the 8k last year.
“We’d like to see 150-200 participants in the race this year,” Stewart said.
Stewart emphasized that he feels the WWP connects the past with the future.
“There are cadets here that are just beginning their military career, and we have veterans here on campus who have been in war zones these past 12 years,” he said. “This race, in a small way, connects us all with our predecessors who have forged the trail before this generation. It’s a good thing to have the cadets, the students and the community come together and pay their respects to those who have gone before them.”
More information about the race and signups is available at www.wsuwoundedwarrior8k.com.