I have to admit, I don’t watch much TV. I don’t have the time. So when I heard that J.R. Martinez was going to run the NYC Marathon to raise funds for New York Road Runners Youth Programs, I didn’t even know who he was – but his story grabbed my interest.
Let’s start at the end. In fact that’s where J.R. is going to start the NYC Marathon. At the end. He will start the race in last place, and Timex will donate one dollar ($1) to NYRR Youth Programs for every runner J.R. passes. That’s pretty cool. Anything that helps get our youth off the couch and on their feet is alright with me.
But then I found out more about J.R. Martinez. In 2003, when he was only nineteen years old, the humvee that J.R. was driving in Iraq hit a roadside bomb. The explosion ejected the other three passengers from the vehicle, but J.R. was caught inside the burning wreckage, sustaining burns over 34 percent of his body. He spent almost three years in recovery, undergoing 33 operations.
Since then he has used his experiences and his story to champion veterans’ causes and motivate others to push through adversity and achieve what they didn’t think they could accomplish. And now he’s taking on a new cause to support youth running and inspire runners of all ages.