HOLLAND, Mich. (AP) — Come October, many will be ready for tailgating and football, but Ross Brink has something else to focus on.
Brink, alongside Brandon Padilla, Dan O'Callaghan and Terry Vandenbosh, will be running the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, D.C., on Sunday, Oct. 27 in honor of their friend and fallen soldier, Gunnery Sgt. Daniel Price. This summer he is putting in the miles in preparation.
Price, a Holland-area native who died last summer while serving in Afghanistan, was a part of the Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command. Brink and Price were friends who grew up together.
The four runners, who go by Frogs N' Hogs, are part of a 36-person group running for Miles for MARSOC, a team raising money for the MARSOC Foundation. The nonprofit foundation supports active duty and medically retired MARSOC personnel and their families, as well as the families of Marines who have lost their lives in service to the country.
"(MARSOC members) make a sacrifice every single day, so running this marathon is the least I can do for them," Brink told The Holland Sentinel ( http://bit.ly/10Ln2Mu ).
Brink remembers the last time he trained this hard for something — when he helped Price get in shape for his basic training 10 years ago. Though he knows Price would find the cause honorable, he said he would still think he was crazy for doing it.
The two were inseparable growing up, working at the Brink family farm and sharing the same hobbies after the work was done. As he prepares for the 26.2 mile run, Brink keeps in mind his best friend's drive and perseverance.
"Dan didn't know what quitting meant, which is how he excelled as a Marine," Brink said. "He never quit and always kept going, so I try to train with that same mindset."
The team's name is also in remembrance of Price, coming from inside the Marine Special Operations and Scout Sniper community, which Price was a part of. The term "frogs" describes the reconnaissance Marines and "hogs" is given to the school-trained Scout Snipers.
Padilla and Vandenbosh are also former Marines. Padilla was part of the Scout Snipers as well. Vandenbosh, who served from 1993-1997, had previously trained for the Marine Marathon, but was relocated two weeks before the run.
"As Marines, we help each other out and you know we always have your back," Vandenbosh said. "Though (the marathon) is a big commitment, it is for a good cause and I am happy to help support the (MARSOC) foundation and all my fellow Marines."
Information from: The Holland Sentinel, http://www.thehollandsentinel.com