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SAN DIEGO-- Pacific Beach resident, George Chmiel will run 3,000 miles in 60 days from San Diego to ground zero in New York City starting on September 11th from the USS Midway. Chmiel hopes his run will honor United States veterans and bring awareness to the help they need.
"Let us do something special for our guys," said Chmiel. "Our warriors. Our heroes. That's what it's all about."
The 35-year-old never served in the military, but had grandparents that did. Chmiel said the fact that he can enjoy such freedoms like going to school or starting his own company drives him to want to do something to say thank you to those that make the ultimate sacrifice.
"I'm just a very grateful guy," said Chmiel. "I'm appreciative for what we have here and for that I owe. I feel like we all need to do more."
The Boston College graduate hopes to raise 1 million dollars for the Guardian for Heroes Foundation, an organization started by American Sniper Chris Kyle. Chmiel's run across the country breaks down to roughly 120 marathons and 5 million steps in just two months, so to prepare for the journey he says he put in 30 hours a week of training since March.
"I know my body is never going to be the same," said Chmiel.
With 21 marathons under his belt, in addition to the 4 desert series and Ironman, Chmiel says he knows mentally he's ready to complete the challenge.
"Pain is temporary. Failure is forever," said Chmiel. "At some point in time that pain will go away. You will never have that chance to go back in time to change that moment in time when you mentally break."
Chmiel invites everyone to join him on the USS Midway on 9/11. The event will begin at 9 a.m. aboard the USS Midway aircraft carrier (now the USS Midway Museum) and is open to the public. Hundreds of runners are expected to accompany Chmiel as he officially starts his run at 10:40 a.m. from the flight deck of the Midway – after the opening festivities.