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Marine To Be The Legs For Injured Iraqi War Veteran

  • By Duncan Larkin
  • Published Oct. 29, 2010
  • Updated Oct. 29, 2010 at 9:25 AM UTC
Bryan Purcell is to push Sgt. Eddie Ryan in this weekend's Marine Corps Marathon. Photo: Melanie Purcell

Bryan Purcell is to push Sgt. Eddie Ryan in this weekend's Marine Corps Marathon. Photo: Melanie Purcell

Bryan Purcell will be pushing injured Iraqi War veteran Sergeant Eddie Ryan in this Sunday’s Marine Corps Marathon.

Sgt. Ryan was shot twice in the head in 2005 and suffered a traumatic brain injury that prevents him from walking. After watching an HBO special about Ryan where he vowed to some day run a marathon, Bryan Purcell, a former Marine, showed up at Ryan’s doorstep offering to push him.

The two will take part in the Marine Corps Marathon on Sunday with the goal of running under 4:13, because 4/13 was the day Ryan was shot.

Purcell’s wife, Melanie, has been one of his cheerleaders. ”I was inspired by Brian’s faith that this goal was possible,” she said. “He just dove in, and I knew that if this lofty goal was meant to be, then God would provide the way. It was truly inspiring.”

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Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin is the news editor at Competitor.com and a freelance journalist who’s been covering the sport of running for over five years. He’s run 2:32 in the marathon and won the Himalayan 100-Mile Stage Race in 2007. His first running book, RUN SIMPLE, was released last July.

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