71-Year-Old Former Marine Completes Coast-to-Coast ElliptiGO Run and Raises More than $11,000 for the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund
Rick Hermelin's epic 100-day, 3000-mile trek concludes at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego
San Diego, CA (July 5, 2012)
former Marine Rick Hermelin made history this week as the first person to run
coast-to-coast on an
elliptical running machine. The
intrepid septuagenarian made the epic 3,000-mile trek to raise funds for the
Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund
, a non-profit set up to provide
support for injured and critically ill members of the U.S. Armed Forces and
their families. Hermelin began his transcontinental journey on March 23, 2012
at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in Parris Island, South Carolina and finished
his fundraising run in exactly 100 days at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in
San Diego, California on June 30, 2012.
goal of raising $10,000 for the Semper Fi Fund, Hermelin made the crossing
self-supported, carrying only a small backpack. His mission quickly captured
the hearts of the people he met along the way. Families opened up their homes
to him, restaurant owners fed him free of charge and a network of fire
departments hosted him for 53 nights. In the end, Rick exceeded his fundraising
goal and as of July 3, 2012, he had raised $11,462 for the Semper Fi Fund.
served in the Marine Corps from 1959 to 1963 as an Aviation Communications
Technician, but it wasn’t until later in life that he developed his love of
running. Over the course of 35 years, from 1976 to 2011, he completed 100
marathons, 100 half-marathons, and 100 10K races. Having reached this
incredible milestone in June 2011, he started looking for a new challenge.
thought about running across the U.S. before,” said Hermelin, “but I wasn’t
sure if my body would hold up for the entire journey. Plus, it would take me
about 6 months.” That’s when one of his clients suggested he try out the
ElliptiGO as an alternative.
Designed by runners, the ElliptiGO is the first outdoor,
low-impact, fitness device specifically designed to emulate the running motion.
It allows athletes of all levels to get a high-intensity workout without
experiencing the repetitive impact of running. Healthy athletes and injured
athletes alike have found it the most effective way to get an outdoor running
experience without the usual pounding on their bodies.
with his “100” theme, Hermelin put together a plan to run across the country on
the ElliptiGO in 100 days to raise awareness about the benefits of being
physically fit, something he learned in the Marines. ElliptiGO co-founder and co-president, Bryan
Pate, was impressed with his idea. “As a fellow former Marine, I admire his
courage in completing this crossing alone and appreciate his desire to help out
Marine Corps had such a positive impact on my life and supporting the Semper Fi
Fund seemed like a great way to honor that influence,” Rick said. “To finish
this 3,000-mile trek is a great personal accomplishment, but raising money for
the Semper Fi Fund and helping out other Marines is what makes my effort more
the country on the unconventional fitness machine, Rick racked up some
average distance: 33
of run days: 89
number of rest days: 11
hours on the ElliptiGO: 251
of vertical climbing: 83,000
number of calories burned: 182,000
number of states crossed: 10
number of flat tires: One!
to report that both the ElliptiGO and I made it across the country with all
original parts in good working order,” Hermelin added.
Marine Semper Fi Fund is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that directs urgently needed
resources to post 9-11 Marines and sailors, as well as members of the Army, Air
Force or Coast Guard who serve in support of Marine forces. The Semper Fi Fund
provides relief for financial needs that arise during hospitalization and
recovery, as well as assistance for those with perpetuating needs. Since establishing this fund in 2004, they
have issued more than 38,000 grants totaling more than $57 million to thousands
of Marines and their families.
Hermelin documented his trek across American on
the 100 Days for the Corps blog:
Donations to the Semper Fi Fund
in Rick Hermelin’s name can be made on his fundraising page:
For more information about ElliptiGO and its products, visit www.elliptigo.com or follow them on Twitter
and Facebook at
ElliptiGO, Inc. is the San Diego-based company that created the worlds first outdoor cross-training device engineered specifically for runners. Combining the best of running, cycling and the elliptical trainer, the ElliptiGO® delivers a high-performance workout experience that closely mimics running outdoors while eliminating the impact. Elliptical running is an effective way to build cardiovascular fitness without aggravating injuries and is great for everyone from the weekend warrior to the elite athlete. The ElliptiGO provides the most comfortable, fun and efficient way to get outside and be active. The full line of ElliptiGOs is available for purchase at select retailers nationwide and through the companys website:
Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund
The Semper Fi Fund (SFF) (
) is a
non-profit organization that provides financial assistance and quality of life
solutions for Marines and Sailors, as well as members of the Army, Air Force
and Coast Guard who serve in support of Marine forces, when they become injured
in post 9-11 combat or training operations, or they face life threatening
illness or injury. Our fund provides relief to qualified Service members and
their families for immediate financial needs that arise during hospitalization
and recovery, as well as perpetuating needs such as home modifications,
customized transportation and specialized equipment. The Semper Fi Fund has awarded over 38,000
financial grants totaling more than $57 million in grants given to our injured
and ill service members and their families.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Neither the United States Marine
Corps nor any other component of the Department of Defense has approved,
endorsed, or authorized this event.