Running with a Purpose
September 18, 2014
Erik Yohe was born and raised in Liberty, Missouri. He currently lives in Dallas, Texas and is running the Marine Corps Marathon to raise funds for The Mission Continues and support transitioning veterans across the country.
1) Tell us about your motivation/inspiration to run the Marine Corps Marathon for The Mission Continues.
Running a marathon is a huge challenge and accomplishment in itself. But completing the Marine Corps Marathon specifically, with its history and meaning, is truly special and has always been on my bucket list. When the chance came to run it in support of The Mission Continues, I knew this year was the right time to train. To be able to challenge myself through this grueling run, while at the same time raising money and awareness for a phenomenal organization that empowers transitioning veterans is an incredible opportunity that I wanted to take advantage of.
2) Tell us about your personal connection to veterans.
I am not a veteran but my father is a retired Air Force A-10 pilot and my brother is currently in pilot training at Sheppard Air Force Base. I look up to both of them immensely — and my mom for the sacrifices she made as a military spouse. Each of them has given me a first-hand glimpse of the selfless service, hard work and dedication all military members and veterans have made and continue to make for our country. I have so much gratitude and admiration for veterans and those still in our military and am motivated by that to give back to them in any way I can, even if that entails running 26.2 miles to raise funds and support.
3) Tell us about your personal connection to The Mission Continues.
I originally heard about The Mission Continues through my parents, as they are long time supporters of the organization. They have served alongside The Mission Continues veterans at service projects and have heard founder, Eric Greitens speak. So when Eric Greitens came through New York City on a book tour while I lived there, I went and saw him with a friend. His talk sparked my interest in learning more about the organization and from there I’ve tried to support in any way I can, whether financially or being a part of events — and now running this marathon. The Mission Continues does an incredible job engaging their donors and supporters and making them feel invested in the successes and mission of the organization.
4) What’s the most challenging part of training? How do you overcome that challenge?
The hardest part of training for me is making the time for long runs and not letting anything else get in the way. In order to run more than a few miles, you really have to plan for it and make time in your schedule. If you don’t plan ahead for it or something comes up in your daily life that gets in the way, the mental challenge really starts to kick in. It becomes very hard mentally to gear up for a long run in the Texas 100 degree heat after a long day of work (or bright and early before work) if you haven’t planned for it ahead of time.
5) Please share anything else you’d like supporters to know about your story.
I’ve never run a marathon before, and I don’t have plans to run any after this. I live in fear of what running 26.2 miles will really feel like, but I couldn’t be more excited to do it in support of The Mission Continues.
If you’d like to donate to runners like Erik, visit Team Mission Continues fundraising page.