Early risers on Sunday will have a chance to catch an unusual and inspiring sight in the hours leading up to the San Francisco Marathon.
A wave of runners clad in blue shirts will flow through The City, running their own 26.2 miles before joining the rest of the general population to complete an ultra marathon. Supporters of “Wear Blue: Run to Remember” will gather at midnight at Golden Gate National Cemetery at midnight to begin the 2012 CPT John L. Hallett III Ultra Marathon.
Wear Blue was started in 2010 by Hallett’s wife, Lisa, as an effort to her husband, who died while deployed in Afghanistan in 2009.
Since then, Hallett and fellow military wife and avid runner Erin O’Connor have seen their vision stretch from it’s foundations at Joint Base Lewis-McCord in Washington state to include a national staff and runners in 15 countries and all 50 states.
Hallett said her goal is “to create a running community that honors the service and sacrifice of American military.”
Don’t look at Wear Blue as a gathering of grieving widows, however.
“I have found that I identify more as a military spouse and as a runner than I do as a widow,” she said. “I really value going to Saturday morning Wear Blue runs and being a part of that community and saying, ‘We’re active, we’re healing in a healthy way.’ I want to be a part of a community that really has great pride in our American military.”
Lisa and John Hallett were both raised in Concord, so participating in the San Francisco Marathon for the second time in as many years has special significance, even as Lisa’s responsibilities as the face of the organization take her across the country.
“This is where we came from and we love the Bay Area,” Lisa said.
Supporters will gather at Crissy Field to make up the Wear Blue mile, holding photos of the fallen soldiers and American flags with their names written on them.
More information on Wear Blue can be found at www.wearblueruntoremember.org.