126 marathons in 100 days: Marine runs coast-to-coast in spirit of community

Maggie Seymour is running across the country in 100 days as a way to raise funds and support for members of the special needs, Gold Star families, and veteran communities. (Photo from the Run Free Run Facebook page)

VIRGINIA BEACH — One of the most important things to U.S. Marine Corps Captain Maggie Seymour is community.

Seymour, 31, of Alexender, Ill., set out on a 100-day, cross-country run from San Diego to Virginia Beach in support of three causes that mean a lot to her.

According to Seymour, her run, which started on July 22, is meant to raise money and awareness for Gold Star families, veterans, and special needs children and athletes. Seymour is expected in Virginia Beach in late October.

“It’s my way of giving back to three communities that have really given a lot to me in the past two years,” she said. “I’m a big believer in community in general. Any community is going to give you a sense of belonging, support and love. I come from a really small town of about 200 people, so I grew up with the same people. When I left, I missed that. I missed having a close-knit group of people.”

After joining the Marines, Seymour began working with the special needs community through Team Hoyt and Ainsley’s Angels.

The brother and sister organizations pair able-bodied runners with disabled or special needs athletes to compete in races together.

Along with members of the veteran and special needs community, Seymour also wants to boost support for Gold Star families.

“They’ve literally given their family members in defense of the nation, and that’s a debt that I don’t think we ever really can repay,” Seymour said.

As she continues along the route, she and her team are providing gifts and assistance to members of those groups as well.

Among the gifts given thus far, she and her team have provided a wheelchair to a special needs athlete in San Diego and invested in a veterans bee farm.

Maggie Seymour on day 24 in Arizona. (Photo from the Run Free Run Facebook page)

So far Seymour is on day 24 of her run and, according to her FollowMee account, GPS places her just outside of New Mexico.

Seymour told Southside Daily on day 20, the physical, mental, and even emotional aspects of her days have been “a monotonous chaos.”

“It’s a pretty basic schedule. You wake up to eat something. You go run. You finish and do your recovery routine, and you do that over and over again.”

On an average run day, Seymour said, her support truck will drive ten miles ahead as a checkpoint for her to rest and re-hydrate before going tackling another 10 miles up.

Every six to nine days Seymour takes a rest day to recover before going on another run.

Though the physical routine of her running schedule has offered consistency, what goes on in her head as she covers anywhere between 30 and 40 miles a day is where the “chaos” appears.

According to Seymour, during her running emotions run wild as she goes from happy to angry or overwhelmed to calm throughout the process.

“You kind of run a gambit of emotions and back again each day,” she said.

As she is a little over 20 percent done with her journey, Seymour said she is enjoying most parts of it at this point, and already has stories to tell like one of her nights in Arizona.

While she and her team were at a small diner, Seymour recalled, they realized that the eatery only accepted cash or checks. While they only had credit cards with them at the time, Seymour said another customer saw their truck, heard about her run and paid for their meals.

“Little stuff like that is pretty incredible,” Seymour said. “That’s what I was looking forward to with the run; the little mom-and-pop diners and meeting people and saying hello. I think that has helped with the overall letting it set in that we are actually doing this.”

Southside Daily will stay in contact Maggie Seymour and post updates on her journey to our social media accounts.

Like the article? Reach out to Jordan on Twitter at @JordanEGrice, or send him story ideas at Jordan@localvoicemedia.com.

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