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Cross-continent runner sees trek as way of supporting disabled vets

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

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Jamie Summerlin of Morgantown, West Virginia, runs into McCook, Nebraska, this morning, about half-way through a 100-day run from the West Coast to the East Coast to raise awareness and funds for the Wounded Warrior Project and other veterans' organizations.
(Connie Jo Discoe/McCook Daily Gazette) [Order this photo]
McCOOK, Nebraska -- An ultra-runner left Cross County, Oregon, on March 26, with his eyes on Annapolis, Maryland, 100 days later. Between the West Coast and the East Coast, U.S. Marine veteran Jamie Summerlin hopes to raise awareness and funds for veterans organizations that support those who weren't as lucky to return from battle without lifelong challenges.

"I'm passionate about running, and about the veteran community," Summerlin said as he ran into McCook, Nebraska, from the west about 8 a.m., today. Jamie said, with a smile, "I've got out with my physical and, yes, arguably, my mental faculties in act. This run is my way of giving back, supporting those veterans who made greater sacrifices ... those with missing limbs and PTSD ... than I did." He continued, "I love being able to do it."

Jamie and his wife, Tiffany, are both Marine veterans. Tiffany said she and Jamie support the Wounded Warrior Project and other veterans organization because they can help fill in gaps in coverage offered by the Veterans Association. "There is a large population of veterans who could use assistance," Tiffany said, "but they don't seek the help they could benefit from. The Wounded Warrior Project can make it more socially acceptable to reach out for help."

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Joining Jamie Summerlin for a day or two of running was fellow ultra-runner Justin Walker, right, of Boulder, Colorado, who said he was happy to alter his "running vacation" en route to Yellowstone and Glacier parks to run with Jamie. "It's a very worthy cause," Walker said.
(Connie Jo Discoe/McCook Daily Gazette)
Jamie averages 34 miles a day, running six to seven hours every day -- and that's not dependent on the terrain and the weather. "That's what's mapped out," he explained, in order to reach his goal of Annapolis, Maryland, on the Fourth of July.

"Today, I'll run about 37 miles," he said, from eight miles west of McCook to Oberlin, Kansas, this afternoon.

The entire cross-country trip, from west to east, will cover about 3,300 miles.

Jamie is accompanied on the road by his wife and kids in an RV. "The kids are inside doing their schoolwork," Jamie said as he took a short break in the Wal-Mart parking lot about eight this morning.

Ten-year-old daughter Shayne and 12-year-old son Nicholas keep up with their studies by skyping into their classrooms, Jamie said.

For more information about Jamie's run go to www.runforwwp.com.

Jamie hopes to raise $500,000 for the Wounded Warrior Project and other veterans organizations.

Jamie said he has partnered with Mylan Park Foundation Inc., a 501c3 non-profit organization registered in the State of West Virginia, to handle all financial aspects of the run.

All donations are tax deductible and can be made on-line or mailed to: Run For WWP, c/o Mylan Park Foundation, P.O. Box 674, Dellslow, WV 26531.


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