Ryan Sit for New York Daily News
Dozens of runners join seven Army officers who hoist U.S. flags as they cross the finish line at the 9/11 Memorial, completing an amazing 500-mile relay that began in North Carolina.
Seven Army officers crossed the finish line at Ground Zero Saturday, finishing a 500-mile run from North Carolina to support vets.
Each officer ran about 75 miles of the non-stop, six-day relay, before joining together to run the last 10 miles and finish the race at the 9/11 Memorial.
They raised $ 40,000 for The Mission Continues, a group that helps post-9/11 veterans transition back into civilian life.
“It was pretty brutal,” said 1st Lt. Phil Cotter, 25, who returned from a tour in Afghanistan just three weeks ago. “At least it’s not the superhot deserts of Afghanistan.”
1st Lt. Pat Thompson, 24, said the public reception the group received coming over the George Washington Bridge gave them the boost they needed to finish the relay.
“After running 500 miles your motivation can be low, but seeing all those guys, we were just so pumped, and I think there was an adrenaline rush for the last 10 miles,” he said.