The annual Seaside Semper Five Marine charity 5K race will be held this weekend in Ocean County.
About 1,500 runners will participate, including Army veteran amputee David L. of Franklin Township. David runs the race every year.
“I love showing people you can do anything you want to do as long as you put your mind to it,” he says. “But I also like showing young veterans that you can participate in all the stuff you used to participate in.”
Race director Dr. Frank Costello says that David’s finish is one of the event’s highlights.
“I remember two years ago the first time I saw him. I’m giving out the trophies and you never give the trophies out until everyone is done. I’m announcing the names and all of a sudden, I hear this noise. It was the crowd, he was coming in, I’ve never seen anyone do a 5k with one leg before like he does on the crutches,” Costello says.
David had one of his leg amputated nearly 10 years ago following a battle with cancer. But the 63-year-old says that this hasn’t slowed him down.
“It’s really a nice feeling, the enthusiasm, the people who especially respect the military, love the young Marines and the old guys too,” he says.
Proceeds from the 5K race benefit the Marine Raider Foundation. But David and Costello say that it also brings awareness to the struggles that members of the military may face.
“Approximately 20 service members commit suicide a day in America. It’s not even believable that the number could be that high so doing stuff like this brings attention to the military, but it also helps those young guys who might be struggling a little bit,” David says.
The Seaside Semper Five begins this Saturday at 9 a.m. News 12 New Jersey is proud to sponsor the race again this year.