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Running in Iraq

I received an email today from Lt. Donal Dryer.  D J, as he refers to himself, is currently stationed in Iraq.  DJ is a marathon runner.  DJ contacted me this April and wanted to know if he could be an “official” participant in the 2009 Deadwood Mickelson Trail Marathon.  The only catch was that he needed to do the running at his duty station……in Iraq.  He told me that he had made this same request of a few other event directors and they had all told him; “Well NO, you can’t do that, you have to be here…..on our course.” Even before he told me that, I had already begun thinking about how this could work, and of course I said; “you bet your (whatever), you’re in!”

He registered online, at, just like all our other entrants….(complimentary of course), and on race day, which was actually the middle of the night for him, (he wanted to start running at exactly the same time in his world as we were in ours), DJ ran the Deadwood Mickelson Trail Marathon.   As soon as he finished, he emailed Alan Higley from ChampionChip Minnesota, our scoring company and his results were posted on the side of our headquarters bus with all the other runners results.  I mailed him his medal and his finishers shirt, and called it a Dunn deal.

The thing that made today’s email so exciting is that DJ wanted to know when he could register for the 2010 Deadwood Mickelson Trail Marathon because his tour in Iraq will be over and he’s going to be here, live and in person.  I can’t wait to meet him.

To me, Lt. Dryer is another example of how the running lifestyle let’s nothing get in it’s way.  And, DJ is has shared with me how running is his escape from the horrors of war….at least for a few minutes/hours of his day.

God bless DJ and all the other men and women in uniform in harm’s way.

Jerry Dunn