Man running to California for Marines - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Man running to California for Marines

TIFT CO., GA (WALB) -

A 71-year old former Marine is running across the country to raise money for wounded Marines. 

You might have seen him on the roads in Tift County Friday morning. His running style is different than you usually see.

Look quick or you'll miss Rick Hermelin.

He is running across the country to raise money for the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund.

"It's running," said Hermelin. "It's called a bike because it has wheel and it has handlebars, but it is a running motion. So, I look at this as running from coast to coast with no impact."

He is getting help from towns along his path that started in South Carolina and will end in California. Tift County authorities applaud his cause.

"I'm a veteran myself," said Tift County EMA Director Jason Jones. "As a matter of fact, I spent last year in Afghanistan. His cause is near and dear to my heart. We certainly want to help in any way possible."

100 is a special number for Hermelin. He plans to finish this journey in 100 days.  He has also run 100 marathons, 100 half marathons, and 100 10 K's. The 71-year old says he is still in great shape and that the beginning of his latest journey was a special anniversary. 

"I'm raising funds for the Injured Marine Semper Fi fund," said Hermelin. "Friday, when I started on March 23rd, that was my first day in the in the marine corps 53 years ago in 1959."

He says he is making the cross country trek to give back to the Marines, an organization that gave to him.

"It got me a good start for one thing," Hermelin. "It got me out of Brownsville, Texas. I wanted out and it was my ticket out of Brownsville, Texas."

He says he has enjoyed the hospitality of South Georgia and the help that he has gotten.

Hermelin will leave Tift County Saturday and come to Albany. 

You can follow his journey and blog at www.100daysforthecorps.wordpress.com. When you visit there, you can also learn how to donate and help Hermelin on his way.

Copyright 2012 WALB.  All rights reserved.    

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