Last year, the Oak Tree Half Marathon and 5K was one of a kind. Megan and Andrew ran the race - but they did it in different time zones, and on different continents. It's a special race for Andrew this year. He gets to run side by side with his wife after being deployed in Afghanistan for nine months.
"I'm really happy to be able to really run it with him this time on the same course, rather than just at the same time," Megan said.
It was an idea Andrew came up with while overseas. Hundreds of runners hit the ground in Geneseo, while Andrew and 44 other soldiers from different countries did the same in Afghanistan. The Geneseo native, and U.S. soldier, wanted to motivate his guys.
"I thought we needed something to really look forward to, to train for," Andrew said. "It was doing something exactly the same, and it felt really good to do it."
Training in Afghanistan was a lot different than training back home. "Our course in Afghanistan was a one kilometer square, with 15 foot high walls. It was really hot. The sun would bake the walls, so it was like running in an oven, and we would have to do 20 laps to complete the 13 miles," Andrew said.
Now with Andrew home, this year's race is expected to bring in a lot of energy. Some of his fellow soldiers will also be joining him. "I get to reconnect. Some of them I haven't seen since we got back," Andrew added.
Megan said running on American soil has never felt better. "It's going to feel like things are coming full circle. you know a chapter really closed. Andrew will be starting back his studies again. He's been home since the beginning of February, and we have just been getting back into normal life, regular life."
Andrew says no one is left on his base in Afghanistan. He and the other 9 Americans, who took part in the overseas race, are home for good.
The Oak Tree Race starts at eight on Sunday morning. To register, click here.
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