Marines run for heart diseases awareness ;
By Cpl. Nicholas Tremblay
| | October 31, 2002
MARINE CORPS LOGISTICS BASE ALBANY, Ga. -- Twenty-eight Marines and two Navy corpsmen from Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany ran in the Heart Trek 2002 Saturday. For 14 years the American Heart Association has coordinated with Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital in Albany to hold an American Heart walk to raise money for heart disease research. This year for the first time they included a 5k run.
Although this was the first year for the Heart Trek, more than 100 runners participated. The money that is raised from the walk and run will pay for research and educational programs about heart diseases.
According to Fran Gillespie, regional director for the American Heart Association, she wanted the event to have a patriotic theme. To follow that plan, the Albany Marine Color Guard kicked off the event presenting the national colors and the Marine Corps Colors.
Gunnery Sgt. James Cully, Headquarters Battalion Gunnery Sergeant, was the Marine coordinator for the run. With the help of Mike Gurr, Head, Recreation Branch here, Marine Corps Community Services paid the entry fees for Marines to run.
The Marines weren't at the run to prove anything or to place in the top 10, but to show their community spirit, said Cully.
"The community normally doesn't get to see a lot of Marines taking part in things out in town," said Cully. "When they do see us helping out, it kind of puts a human-side to us. Plus it's good to be out here supporting the causes of the local community."
The overcast weather did not dampen the Marines' spirits as they ran in formation through the streets around Phoebe Northwest. One Marine led the formation holding MCLB Albany Headquarter Battalion's red and yellow guide-on high, proudly displaying the Corps's emblem - the Eagle, Globe and Anchor.
As the Marines dressed in drab "Marine Corps green" ran through the quiet residential areas, they shouted cadence called by one motivator alongside the formation. Throughout the run, a few curious residents occasionally stepped outside to see what all the commotion was about.
The Marines did not run a marathon, nor complete a tough task, but they helped the American Heart Association fight heart diseases by competing in the run, and those 30 Marines represented MCLB Albany and the Marine Corps in a positive manner.