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International Elite Runners Trade an Army Ten-Miler and the Marine Corps Marathon Race for a Servicemember’s Smile

 As a former All-Army marathon runner and founder of the “irun4god” running team I am well aware of the hard work these men and women accomplished last

weekend, running the Army Ten-Miler and the Marine Corps Marathon. It’s work that has a high pay-off, even more so for someone who thought

they could never run again.  I used to run

The "irun4god" running team intends to donate their awards from the Marine Corps Marathon and Army Ten-Miler to the wounded warriors at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

every day until on September 21, 2006, I was riding in my van in Atlanta, GA and was hit by a semi-trailer truck. I vividly recall sitting in my van and looking in

my rear view mirror yelling the words, “Oh good Lord, not today. I haven’t said goodbye to my son, Austin!” 

Hours later and still in shock after my accident, I realized that the semi-trailer truck totaled my vehicle while pushing it into oncoming traffic. I wasn’t sure

I’d ever be able to run again.

I stopped running in 2006 until I heard WO1 Johnathan Holsey, an Army Wounded Warrior (AW2) Soldier, speak at the 2008 Army Ten-Miler in Washington, DC.

I recall Holsey explaining to the audience how he lost his leg in a road side bomb explosion in Ramadi, Iraq. For him, he wasn’t going to let an injury

hold him back. He returned to his training regime with the help of a crank bike and started training for the New York City Marathon.

Continuing to tell the audience his story, Holsey shared with us that obstacles continued to follow him into the race. While crossing mile 13, his crank bike tire

blew out as he attempted to make a right turn. He shared with us that he was immediately approached by an assistant who had pleaded to him, “Let’s take

you back to the start.”  In response to the assistant, Holsey told him, “No thanks. I‘m going to finish this race–it may not be a world class time, but I am

going to finish what I started.” Finish, he did.

AW2 Veteran Johnathan Holsey (left) coached LTC (Ret.) Sue Bozgoz (right) on how to overcome her injury and continue pursuing her passion for marathon running.


His story was exactly what I needed to hear in order to inspire me to run again. It inspired me so much, that in 2008, I ran the Marine

Corps Marathon with Holsey and other world-class runners by my side. Holsey’s story helped me build the determination and courage to overcome

my own obstacles. He is an inspiration to both wounded warriors and civilians.

This year, theirun4god” running team launched an outreach program that included visiting the Warrior Transition Brigade located at Walter

Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, DC. After visiting the brave war Veterans and Soldiers at Water Reed, we immediately understood

the meaning of the words, “Freedom is not free.”  As a team, we agreed that we would run the Army Ten-Miler and Marine Corps Marathon not for

ourselves, but as a team to honor wounded servicemembers. Turns out the “irun4god” running team won several trophies at the two races

and although it was an honor to win, it was a greater honor to donate these awards to the servicemembers at Walter Reed.

In light of November being Warrior Care Month, our only hope is to inspire servicemembers to walk, run, or bike with us next time we hit the pavement.

Everyone needs a helping hand, but it takes self-assertion to take the first step in the right direction.

December 10th, 2010

Going the Extra Mile

By Patty Sands, WTC Stratcom

COL Darryl Williams, WTC Commander, accepts one of the donated Army Ten Miler trophies from the irun4god running team coach Sue Bozgoz.

One never knows when a simple introduction will turn into something great.

The first time I saw Sue Bozgoz, coach of the irun4god running team, she was giving a motivational speech at the D.C. Armory in

Washington. I remember thinking that her speech was riveting and her passion for helping others was evident. Later that day, I

 saw her again as she slowly made her way through the exhibits at the Army Ten Miler. When she saw the Army Warrior Transition

Command’s (WTC) display, her eyes lit up and she exclaimed, “Hooah!”

Later that day, I was pleasantly surprised to find that all of the irun4god runners had ironed Army Wounded Warrior Program (AW2)

 patches on their jerseys for the Army Ten Miler race. After Sue Bozgoz had shared information about WTC and AW2 with her team, the

runners decided to dedicate their race to Army wounded warriors. With iron-on AW2 patches on their uniforms, the team competed against

30,000 runners and won 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place wins in several categories. Their wins also included 1st place in the overall open male team

and 1st place in the overall open female team categories.

Today, the irun4god team, now a member of the AW2 Community Support Network, presented their trophies from the Army Ten Miler to

COL Gadson, AW2 Director, and COL Darryl Williams, WTC Commander, to honor Army wounded warriors. Gratefully accepting the trophies

 on behalf of all wounded, ill, and wounded Soldiers, COL Williams spoke about the importance of physical fitness in the lives of wounded

warriors. He commended the runners for their successes and thanked them for their support and assistance of wounded warriors. The trophies

are planned to be displayed at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.   

One of the winning runners, Ronald Kijrui was asked why he donated his trophy to honor Army wounded warriors. In response, the quiet athlete

humbly said, “The warriors are the reason I can run and be free. They walk into danger everyday for us. The least I can do is run for them and run

with them.”

Sue and her team have offered to train AW2 Soldiers and Veterans for next year’s Army Ten Miler.  I fully anticipate there will be a record number

of race participants from the AW2 community and they will be ready in body, mind, and spirit. That is indeed–going the extra mile.

Tatyana motivating 5,000 plus students and parents to stay fit

Sue on the Goodmorning News in Alabama promoting walking/running

Posted: May 27, 2007

Running: Elite Running Coach Margaret Sue Bozgoz Serves As Running Coach For Inaugural Blue Planet Run -

A Non-Stop around the World Relay Run for Safe Drinking Water Projects




Commander’s Drumbeat—The Excitement of AUSA

By BG Darryl A. Williams, WTC Commander

BG Darryl Williams, Warrior Transition Command Commander, congratulates world class runners Tesfaqe Sendekee, first overall male finisher, and Tezata Dengera, first overall female finisher at the 2011 Army Ten Miler (ATM) footrace. Both athletes competed for the 'I Run for God' (IR4G) team coached by LTC (Ret.) Sue Bozgoz. Each runner as well as additional IR4G runners donated their ATM trophies to WTC's Army wounded warriors.

I have to give a shout-out to everyone who participated but especially the International Running Team—I Run for God or IR4G.  These men and

women ran for wounded warriors and took first place overall, first place in the overall male category, and first, second and third places overall

in the female categories.  They very generously presented us their trophies on Thursday.



SGT Ben Thomas after competing in the 100- and 200-meter wheelchair competition during the 2011 Warrior Games.