View Full Version : US, UK Marines run across nation

09-17-10, 07:18 PM
‘Easy doesn’t inspire’ – US, UK Marines run across nation for wounded warriors

9/17/2010 By Pfc. Christofer P. Baines , Headquarters Marine Corps

ARLINGTON, Va. — A team of six runners, including a triple amputee, are setting out across the United States to accomplish a monumental task known as the Gumpathon. To complete their ambitious journey, the team must travel 3,530 miles through three deserts, four time zones, 10 mountain ranges and 16 states By completing the Gumpathon, service members hope to raise $1 million for three separate charities, all benefiting wounded warriors from the U.S. and U.K.

“I got the idea for the Gumpathon from having watched the film Forrest Gump about 14-years ago,” said Royal Marine Colour Sgt. Damian Todd. “I thought of what an amazing experience it would be to run across the states, and while I did it raise money for charity. At the time I hadn’t had anything particularly in mind that was motivating enough and had touched me to do that and I kind of shelved the idea.”

Although some ideas don’t fade with time. Around two years ago, Todd brought his initiative to life after visiting with his friend Mark Ormrod, who lost three limbs in Afghanistan due to a landmine. It was then he saw firsthand how the most basic of tasks can be taken for granted, and was touched seeing Ormrod persevering in the face of adversity.

“I felt it was the right time to get the idea off the shelf and do something for wounded soldiers,” Todd said.

Charities benefiting from the Gumpathon include the American Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund and the British the Royal Marine Charitable Trust Fund and Help for Heroes. Throughout the voyage, the team plans to collect donations in person and on their website, www.gumpathon.com (http://www.gumpathon.com/). :thumbup: