After braving heavy rains, flooded trails and cranky knees, participants in the run completed their journey Saturday, crossing the finish line in the weeklong event to raise money for wounded veterans.
Odenton resident Don Snook and his brother Chris crossed the finish line on the campus of Georgetown University after logging 185 miles on foot since departing from Cumberland, MD last Sunday.
They were accompanied by Don Snook’s wife Corinna, and friends Clay Anderson and Ashley Ackenhausen, who formed a bicycle support team on the journey.
The team traveled essentially a marathon each day along the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal Trail, and they battled difficult conditions through most of the trip. By Wednesday, heavy flooding forced the team off the trail, and they logged their miles Thursday and Friday on treadmills at a gym in Frederick MD.
“It’s been a hard road, but it doesn’t come close to the sacrifice our armed forces are asked to make,” Snook said to supporters. “The soldiers and their families demonstrate an intestinal fortitude that is rarely seen.”
The 185 for Heroes team has raised more than $14,000 for the Wounded Warrior Project, and dedicated five of the legs in the run to soldiers wounded in battle. Two of those soldiers, Sgt. Robert Bartlett and Sgt. Adam Kisielewski, were on hand Saturday.
“I can’t imagine what they went through,” said Bartlett, who sustained sever facial injuries from an explosion when on patrol near Fallujah in Iraq. “They can’t imagine what I went through. But maybe recognizing their sacrifices and them recognizing mine, we would come to a mutual agreement that sacrifice is worth it.”
Chris Snook said he thought frequently of Bartlett and other wounded soldiers as he traveled. Early in the trip, an old knee injury flared up, forcing him to travel the last 76 miles on crutches.
“Every time I started to feel bad, I would think about what those guys went through,” Chris Snook said. “I couldn’t give up. If I had to crawl across that finish line, I was going to cross it.”
The team announced that it has secured runners to keep the 185 for Heroes event intact through 2014. Next year’s runners will be Sol Sollerer, a veteran of the British special forces, and Army member Mark Lopez.
For more information on 185 for Heroes, go to 185forheroes.org.