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Injured Veterans Measure Strength, Endurance

3:14 PM

WWP Running Group Takes on Arnold 5K Pump & Run

Fourteen members of a Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) running group completed their greatest physical accomplishment to date.

WWP Alumni and family support members competed in the Arnold 5K Pump & Run on March 6 in Columbus, Ohio.

The Arnold 5K Pump & Run is the largest race of its kind in the United States, requiring participants to bench press a percentage of their body weight with each lift reducing their 5K run time by 30 seconds.

The WWP running group began training for the Arnold 5K Pump & Run months previously by attending weekly group runs and following strict 5K and bench-press-strength training plans.
"This was something I wanted to do for many reasons," Ronald Middleton, a WWP Alumnus whom has already lost 20 pounds since participating in his first WWP program, said. "My ultimate goal is overall fitness, but setting short term goals has helped me stay motivated and focused."
The Physical Health and Wellness (PH&W) program is one of 20 free, direct WWP programs and services provided to injured service members, their families, and caregivers.

With year-round seasonal fitness, sporting, and exercise activities, PH&W helps the healing process by getting warriors out the door, active, and engaged.

Injured veterans and family support members ready themselves
for the Arnold 5K Pump & Run.
After a previous WWP 5K training event, offered last December through PH&W, attendees—both Alumni and family support members—decided to keep their training group together.
"Everyone from the previous event aspired to achieve their health and wellness goals as a team," Luke Koval, physical health and wellness specialist for WWP, said. "Interest spread and the group has grown."
"The most important thing I learned was that I'm not in this alone," Middleton, highlighting the importance of the peer support role, said.
The peer support role is so crucial in the recovery process that WWP has a program specifically focused in this area called the WWP Peer Support program. One goal of the Peer Support program is for every warrior and family support member to support his or her fellow group members in recovery, thus embodying the WWP logo of one warrior carrying another off the battlefield.
"Other WWP Alumni are right there motivating each other to finish," Middleton said. "I realize it's not a sprint; it's a marathon. No matter what, I have to keep going, not only for myself but for others as well."
In January alone, nearly 800 wounded veterans took part in PH&W events. woundedwarriorproject.org/programs/physical-health-wellness.aspx.

About Wounded Warrior Project
The mission of Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) is to honor and empower Wounded Warriors. The WWP purpose is to raise awareness and to enlist the public's aid for the needs of injured service members, to help injured servicemen and women aid and assist each other, and to provide unique, direct programs and services to meet their needs. WWP is a national, nonpartisan organization headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida. To get involved and learn more, visit woundedwarriorproject.org.

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