'Wear Blue' runners to honor fallen soldiers in marathons
Posted March 11, 2014
Updated April 11, 2014
Fayetteville, N.C. — Beth Stitt has been running for about 13 years. Recently, she was moved to run with a purpose.
Stitt founded the Fort Bragg chapter of Wear Blue: Run to Remember, a movement that was started in Seattle by Lisa Hallett after her husband was killed in action in Afghanistan. While dealing with her grief, Hallett started running with spouses of other members of her husband's unit, and they found the activity gave purpose to each step they took.
The Fort Bragg group trains at 9 a.m. every Saturday, running along the Cape Fear River trail near Methodist University. Before they set off, they form a circle to remember fallen service members.
"People call out the names of the fallen, either the names I've pulled from that weekend or the names of their own, which is very personal," Stitt said.
About 20 runners in the chapter are training to participate in Raleigh's Rock-n-Roll Marathon in April and Fort Bragg's All American Marathon in May. The Rock-n-Roll Marathon, which is presented by WRAL and the race's official charity partner, The V Foundation, is sold out, with about 12,500 runners expected to compete.
Stitt said a special memorial will occur in the eighth mile of the race at Fort Bragg.
"The first half of that mile will be our Faces of the Fallen posters, and the second half of that mile will be volunteers wearing blue shirts and holding full-size American flags," she said.