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Always Brothers to run 100 miles to honor fellow Marine

100 Miles For One Mind seeks more running teams

Scene from the 2012 Always Brothers run. Photo credit: Irene Pearcey

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Semper Fidelis translates to always faithful, but in the Marine Corps, it is more than a motto, it is also the way that they honor each other, even after death.

Always Brothers is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that was formed by a group of Marines who served together on the Marine Security Forces at the Presidential Retreat Camp David and at the White House Communications Agency in the mid-1990s.

Dan Neilsen, vice president of Always Brothers, helped to found the group three years ago in honor of a former fellow Marine, Capt. Tyler B. Swisher, who was killed in Iraq. The team of runners took to the road from Camp David to Arlington Cemetery where Swisher was buried in order to respect his memory.

"That first year, everyone ran more than they thought they could do. ... I did 85 miles myself ... and we raised $20,000," he said. Those monies were put aside into education funds for Swisher's children.

In 2012, Always Brothers again ran 100 miles to raise money for the children of all the Marines and Navy Corpsman who died along with Swisher. This time they raised $85,000.

"We've never asked or invited anyone else to run with us, but this year we are inviting teams to join in," he explained. "It is also different because we are honoring all of the fallen men and women from the state of Washington and not someone specific, plus we are raising money for One Mind for Research."

One Mind for Research raises funds for the collective research for the treatment of brain disease, including traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress.

The race will begin at 6 a.m. on Aug. 10 at the Leschi Marina on Lake Washington and continue around a loop from Seattle to south King County and into Pierce County for 100 miles.

The past two races have taken about 27 hours to complete, which is the pace that the Always Brothers team will strive to maintain. There will be brief water and food stops every five to seven miles along the way, including one in Orting near the Washington Soldiers Home and Colony where residents and staff will be handing out water to the runners.

"We are honoring those that died for us and we want their families, friends and everyone else to know that we are not forgetting about them. We are also not forgetting about the people that came back with invisible wounds, which is why we chose to partner with One Mind," he stated.

To register, click here by July 31. Teams of up to 10 people are welcome and fees are $550 for a civilian team and $350 for a military or firefighter, police or EMT team. If someone wants to run but does not have a team, they can join the Thrive Community Fitness Maple Valley Team, which will be pro-rating the fees. All of the teams are then encouraged to raise money through sponsorships and donations.

Donations can be made here. Spectators are also encouraged to come out throughout the day and night.

"We'd love for people to come out and cheer us on," said Neilsen. "We especially would love to see as many supporters as possible out at CenturyLink Field (the north plaza) where we will finish the run with a police escort around 9 a.m. on Aug, 11."

Neilsen went on to add that any gold star families who wish to have their loved one honored at the run can contact him directly at or via their Facebook page.

For more information, check out

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