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Former soldiers ran the Lake Placid half marathon to raise money for the Rangers Lead the Way Fund

Roughly 1,000 people completed either the Lake Placid Marathon or Half on Sunday, and a few runners carried military packs.

John Byrne, a U.S. Army veteran, said his group was running to raise money for the Rangers Lead the Way Fund.

“It’s a fund that helps fallen (Army) Rangers and their families deal with the funeral costs and other costs,” Byrne said. “Or amputees. They come to your house, and they readjust the house so you’re comfortable after your service time.

“I’m not a Ranger. I was an infantryman with Anthony (Cambareri). He’s the spearhead of the whole thing.”

The group was made up of Byrne, Cambareri, Dan Geraghty and Joey Gay. The four donned Lead the Way Fund shirts and military packs during the half marathon portion of the Lake Placid Marathon.

“I’m a 9/11 survivor. I was at the towers on 9/11,” Geraghty said. “I was actually just working there. I was a civilian at the time. But John was one of the guys who deployed. Anthony was one of the guys who deployed.

“When John got back eight years ago, we raised money for the Warrior Project. We were just looking for people to support and keep the message out there. Just because this never-ending war continues doesn’t mean that people haven’t been hurt, that they don’t need help.

“I know it’s cliche, but some gave all, and a lot of gave plenty,” he continued. “And they’ve got to live with that. They’ve got to live with the results for a long time, so we want to help them the best we can.”

The Army Ranger Lead the Way Fund offers former Rangers a number of services, including help with medical costs and transitioning into a career after the military. It also helps Gold Star families, those whose loved ones have died in service to the country.

This was the 15th annual marathon. Three runners who recently graduated from Boston University took the top three slots in the men's marathon, with Johnny Kemps claiming the title. Kemps won the race with a finish time of 2 hours, 43 minutes and 2.4 seconds. He was followed across the line by teammates Alexander Seal (2:43:33.8) and Zachary Prescott (2:45:12.3).

(06/12/2019) Views: 1,124 ⚡AMP
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2018 Lake Placid Marathon winner returns for half this weekend

The first and only time David Bea visited Lake Placid, he took home first-place honors in the Lake Placid Marathon.

Bea, a 40-year-old Cincinnati-based marketing executive at Proctor and Gamble, beat out 175 other runners in the marathon portion of last year's race.

"I had a good time up there last year," Bea said. "I won the marathon, and I'm heading back this year to run the half marathon and see if I can have a similar result."

This year's 15th annual race is on Sunday, June 9.

Bea has been running for half of his life. Rather than train in the lead-up for a race, Bea works out constantly throughout the year to maintain "base fitness," he said. Throughout the last 20 years, "stay ready, so you don't have to get ready" has been his motto. After competing in nearly 60 full marathons, that sort of consistent training regime has worked out well for him.

Last year's win wasn't without some difficulty. Bea didn't take first place by a landslide. That win was hard-fought, and it took a well of reserve and endurance to push through. Nine seconds are what separated him from the second-place finisher, Jacob Andrews, who'd come up from an 8-minute deficit. Bea's finishing time was two hours, 40 minutes and 10.9 seconds.

"I'd heard the course had its share of rolling hills and turns," he said. "I expected that last climb. That was a little bit of a shock to the system to have to finish with that really steep hill.

"I'll hopefully be more prepared for that this year."

A few things will change for Bea this time around: This year he'll be in a new age category, and because he's fresh off a 25K in Michigan, he'll be changing the distance up with a half.

Finishing the half marathon in Lake Placid has been a goal for Bea since the start of the year. He wants to set a pace around 5:33, and cross the finish line at one hour, 12 minutes and 30 seconds.

He says the Lake Placid course is among his favorites.

"The surroundings, the lake, the beautiful landscape with the mountains - it's high on my list. That's part of the reason I'm coming back this year."

(06/04/2019) Views: 1,229 ⚡AMP
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