Marathon Run in Afghanistan Honors Vietnam Veterans

The 173rd Airborne Brigade has decided to honor other veterans through a 24-hour marathon run. During the run the soldiers think about not only the sacrifice Vietnam vets made, but also how they were able to achieve what they did. Soldiers think about their teamwork and esprit de corps, and how they can incorporate those ideals during their service as well.

Participants in the relay ran three and a half miles on a route decorated with American flags and in one area, a bayonet. One of the participants was an actual Vietnam Vet by the name of Rick Petersen. His presence made the marathon even more special, since he had actually seen for himself what the Vietnam War was like.

Unfortunately, not every soldier in the Brigade was able to participate. Only individuals deemed to be the best were chosen. However, even these soldiers had to work hard to prepare for the event. For example, one of the participants, Pfc. Ikechuku Odi, ran two laps everyday to make sure he would be in proper shape for the run.

The basic tactic Odi and other runners used during the relay itself was to basically run as fast as they could. Odi specifically was able to complete his first lap in just 22 minutes, a feat that is quite amazing, considering it takes some people up to 40 minutes to walk a mile.

Prizes for winners of the race ranged from golf clubs to shirts, hats and other things of that nature. But for the participants, their intention was more in line of honoring the memory of individuals that were just like them getting a prize was not as important.

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