In 2011, Dan Neilsen, of Maple Valley, along with 12 of his fellow Marines who had all served on Presidential Guard duty, gathered in Maryland to run in memory of one of their own, Capt. Tyler B. Swisher who was killed in Iraq in 2005.
In 2012, Neilsen and Always Brothers took their efforts to Lima, Ohio, to remember the 23 fallen men that made up Ohio's Lima Company, part of the 3rd Battalion of the 25th Marine Regiment and to raise money to support the families they left behind.
Though he tried his hardest, Neilsen could never reach that 100 mile mark. Both runs occurred in the summer months out east where humidity is an annoyance for some. For runners, it's brutal.
This Saturday may be Neilsen's best chance to complete the full run because it's happening right in his backyard and the Northwest has beautiful, temperate weather.
Always Brothers has dedicated this year's run to raising money for One Mind for Research™, a Seattle nonprofit dedicated to curing brain diseases, including traumatic brain injury (TBI) and post-traumatic stress (PTS) founded by Gen. Pete Chiarelli (Ret.), a Seattle native and former Vice Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army.
The motivation for the run is the same - to support the men and women who've given up so much to serve the country, Neilsen said Wednesday from Thrive Community Fitness in Maple Valley where he trains. One Mind coordinates funding for research of brain disease, he said, "including post traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury, which affects a number of people but our troops are kind of the tip of the spear on that issue."
At the same time, the Always Brothers group, joined by other runners for a total of about 50 to 60 participants, will also be running to honor all men and women from Washington state who have given their lives for their country. (Neilsen speaks more about this in the video).
The runners will depart Leschi in Seattle at 6 a.m., Aug. 10, and run through Mercer Island, Renton, Maple Valley, and Enumclaw before stopping at the Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs Soldiers Home in Orting. After a short break there they’ll continue along the outskirts of Puyallup and on through Sumner, Auburn, Kent, Tukwila, South Park and West Seattle, where they will be joined by a police escort as they cross the West Seattle bridge and finish, as a group, at CenturyLink Field at 9 a.m., Aug. 11.
They are scheduled to pass through Renton between 8:30 a.m. and 10 a.m. Saturday, August 11, with a short break at the Seahawks Training Facility and then continue along the Cedar River Trail along State Route 169.
“Running 100 miles in 24 hours won’t be easy, but it’s nothing compared to what soldiers with PTS and TBI face,” said Neilsen. “We invite anyone and everyone to cheer us along the route, come to the north plaza of CenturyLink Field at 9 a.m. on Aug. 11 to watch us finish, or support the run financially at active.com/donate/AlwaysBros100OneMind.”
People interested in supporting virtually, or following the runners online can receive social media updates using the hashtag #100forONEMIND on Aug. 10 and 11.
For more information about the event, visit http://www.alwaysbrothers.org/100milesforonemind.php