Ask anyone who has run a marathon and they will tell you there is a certain level of pain involved in the feat, especially in the feet. So, why then are several law members preparing to make the run even more painful?
"Our pain only lasts a few hours, the pain felt by the families of the fallen lasts forever," said Modesto Police Department Detective Sean Dodge, who is the organizer of Project Remember.
Project Remember will see 12 law enforcement officers from around the country run the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, D.C. in full uniform. The runners will be doing it in remembrance of the fallen peace officers, as well as to raise money for charities that directly support the survivors, and to connect with the community.
The idea for Project Remember was hatched last year when Dodge, Turlock Police Department Lt. Neil Cervenka, and Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department Capt. Jim Gordon all decided to run the Stanislaus County Peace Officer Memorial Run in full uniform. Between the Kevlar vest, boots, and duty belt, an additional 25 pounds is added to the runner.
The run last year helped raise funds for the local peace officer memorial and got Dodge thinking something could be done on a national scale.
"I wanted to find a way, on a national level, that we could honor the memory of those men and women who sacrificed their lives for their communities," Dodge said.
In addition to Cervenka and Gordon, Dodge has recruited nine other law enforcement members from around the country to join in the run, and while they have no expectations on setting records for speed, they do have one important goal for the event:
"We will run this race together," said Dodge. "We will not leave anyone behind."
In preparation for the 42nd Marine Corps Marathon, some of the runners will be participating in the Stanislaus County Peace Officer Memorial Run, which is set for Oct. 1 in Modesto. They'll be completing the task in their full uniform and have convinced more than 40 other law enforcement members to join them in the endeavor, which could set a world record.
The dozen runners participating in the Marine Corps Marathon are paying their own costs to travel to Washington D.C., so that all the funds they raise will go towards the families of fallen officers. They have a goal of raising $50,000 and have so far reached just over $14,000. Donations are being accepted and can be made through You Caring website at https://www.youcaring.com/copsanseringthecallpomglapdmemorialfoundation-804959