In an amazing show of solidarity, the Honolulu Marathon will be run twice this Sunday: once in Hawaii and once in…Iraq. Fellow ScienceBlogger, Mike Dunford, tells us that a number of soldiers serving in Iraq (including his wife) will run the Honolulu Marathon at a base near Tikrit:
Yes, you read that right. The Honolulu Marathon is providing them with the timing equipment, the marathon in Iraq will take place at the same time as the one in Honolulu, and the runners will be registered for and considered to be running in the Honolulu Marathon. The only difference is that the course in Iraq won’t have as nice a view and will have trenches along the way for runners to use in the event of a mortar or rocket attack.
Most notable is that each soldier is running to raise money for TAPS (Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors), a privately-funded organization that assists military families who suffer the loss of a loved one.
No matter where you stand on the war, I think we can all agree that military families are making great sacrifices these days and federal support programs don’t quite compensate soldiers or their families in proportion to the risks they run.
The Honolulu runners in Iraq would appreciate your support, particularly since each is running in memory of someone they knew who died in Afghanistan or Iraq. The general donation page is here, but it would be nice if ScienceBlogs readers would specifically dial up the page of Mike’s wife.
I know that we come to our readers often to support our various causes, but there are a lot of causes out there that need our support. Thanks for considering this one.