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Do 565 in 28

Run Ranger Run event helps vets

The Run Ranger Run V’s goal is for individuals and/or teams to complete 565 miles in February to help raise awareness of veterans’ issues. Photo credit: J.M. Simpson

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There are individuals who will run, walk, swim or bicycle their talk in order to promote a worthy cause.

The Run Ranger Run V event is a collection of such individuals.

Running throughout the 28 days of this year's February, the goal of teams will work to log 565 miles.

To highlight the journey home some soldiers face after leaving the Army, in 2012 veteran Cory Smith ran 565 miles in 28 days while holding his daughter, Elleigh.

To honor Smith's efforts and to continue the momentum to raise awareness of veterans' issues such as divorce, unemployment, homelessness and suicide, the GallantFew began hosting the Run Ranger Run event.

Founded by veterans for veterans, the GallantFew's mission is to prevent veteran isolation by connecting new veterans with hometown veteran mentors.

"Anything you do to gain miles is what is required," said Shelby Devine, the leader of the Kick-Off Event's committee.

The Run Ranger Run event, the largest of the events hosted by the GallantFew, follows in Smith's footsteps.

While progress has been made, more remains to be done.

As of 2015 data from the Department of Labor, veterans are 37 percent more likely to be unemployed than a non-veteran.  Furthermore, the number of veterans taking their own lives is slowly declining.

"There is still a lot of work to do," continued Devine. "We are looking forward to this event and what it means while continuing to make a difference."

She added that last year, about 40 individuals participated and that this year's event should see a doubling of that number.

Devine and her team are working hard to bring attention to this year's event.

"We will have a billboard up on I-5 very soon, and we look forward to working with the JBLM community," she added.

Over the past four years, the numbers of participants have steadily risen.

Serving as the center for training up for and coordinating the kick-off Saturday, Jan. 28 of the Run Ranger Run event, which begins at 10 a.m. Feb. 1, is Inveniam Athletics.

Located at 3875 Steilacoom Blvd. SW in Lakewood, Inveniam offers a different type of training that features pull-up bars, medicine balls, kettle bells, rings and bumper plates.

For those who would like to run, walk, swim or bike in support of this event, here are some tips for success.

  • A team captain recruits and forms his or her own team.
  • The team's goal is to walk, run, swim or ride a bicycle (or a combination thereof) for a total of 565 miles during the 28 days of February.
  • Teams can be comprised of two to 10 individuals.
  • Teams are not limited geographically.  While a team can be local, it can also be a team spread across the country or globe.
  • Teams can honor a fallen, wounded or presently serving member of the military.
  • Teams can raise funds by convincing their families, friends, co-workers or businesses to sponsor them.

For more information about the Run Ranger Run event, visit runrangerrun.com.  To learn more about Inveniam Athletics, visit inveniamathletics.com.

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