Welcome to a rare weekend post! We're sending this your way on a Sunday in order to give you enough time to participate in this moving and important event tomorrow.
There's marathon power—and then there's double marathon power. Rachel Elizalde-Powell ran two marathons in Eugene, Oregon in early May in honor of her brother, SFC Adrian Elizalde, who was killed in Iraq on August 23, 2007. Rachel ran her first 26.2 miles beginning at midnight, running to the starting line of the Eugene marathon the following morning, where she tackled her second marathon of the day. That's 52.4 miles.
Rachel first found solace in an organization called Wear Blue: Run To Remember, a running organization that honors the service and sacrifice of the American military. She immediately connected with her fellow runners and with Wear Blue's support, she eventually built up the endurance and courage to tackle a double marathon.
Watch Rachel's story below in the video, and read how she felt throughout her 50+ miles below. And then learn how you can make your own miles count tomorrow in honor of our fallen service members.
Rachel explains how she felt at the beginning, middle, and end of her 52 miles:
Mile 1: "Alright, here we go. Hang with me, Adrian.”
Mile 26: “I’m tired but not near what I thought I would be. I was energized by the fact that we did one and I truly felt good. Better than I ever have after any single marathon.”
Mile 51: “I had just seen his name on a Memorial Wall that I wasn't prepare to see. It wasn't a sad moment...it was more of a moment of feeling his presence telling me to get going. So when there was one mile left, I looked at my friend Danielle and my friend Pedro who had started the journey with me and said, ‘We've totally got this.’ I could feel all of the pain start to subside. At the last quarter mile, I felt no pain. I honestly felt a moment of peace and elation. It was a true celebration of what my brother expected from anyone who knew him. Live with a smile.”
How you can join Rachel: This Memorial Day, Wear Blue asks the nation to challenge themselves physically and mentally by choosing a distance that is greater than their average training, whether it be 1 mile or 100, in order to ground the day in its true meaning of honor and remembrance.
Runners can join their local chapters, organize a meet-up, or run individually. By the close of Memorial Day, runners and walkers across the nation will have shared in a national effort to run in honor of every member of the American military who laid down his or her life for this country.
"For Memorial Day we have asked people to pledge their miles to our website to honor the 6,882 that have died since the Global War on Terror began," explains Rachel. "If someone wants to have a service member assigned to them, we will do so. We ask that when they receive the name that they go online and look up their story. Learn about the men and women that left behind legacies."
So if you're planning on running tomorrow, head over to Wear Blue: Run To Remember to see if there's a local meet-up nearby or how to commit your miles.