National-level running coach Phil Marsh to help Mitic reach his goal
Ottawa (August 12, 2009) - Ottawa's Master Corporal Jody Mitic, who lost both legs below the knee after stepping on a landmine while on duty in Afghanistan two-and-a-half years ago, has set his sights on completing his first-ever half marathon, in Canada Army Run, scheduled September 20 in the nation's capital.
Recently transferred from Petawawa to Ottawa, 32-year-old Mitic has made tremendous progress since being fitted with two prosthetic legs in March 2007 and completing seven months of rehabilitation at St. John's Rehab Hospital in Toronto. He's back doing many activities he did prior to being injured, including running, hiking, and mountain biking. The half marathon will be the furthest distance he's ever run, even prior to being injured.
"Completing the half marathon in Canada Army Run is important to me," said Mitic. "It's a milestone on my journey back to health and fitness; it's an opportunity to thank civilians and military colleagues who have been so supportive; and it's a chance to run with other wounded soldiers who are also making great progress on the road to recovery."
Ottawa's Phil Marsh -- who has coached thousands of runners over the last 20 years, including Olympic athletes -- is working with Mitic to prepare him.
"When I look at Jody and see his determination and sheer willpower to overcome his disability -- and I see how far he's come since being injured -- I am truly inspired," said Marsh. "I hope that others who hear his story also become motivated to get involved in Canada Army Run. It's a run unlike any other in Canada. Not only is it a great opportunity to show our support for Canada's troops, but it's a chance to run side-by-side with the men and women who do so much for us at home and abroad."
Mitic will join thousands of others who will run, walk, or wheel in the 5K or half marathon events. He will also join dozens of other soldiers injured in the line of duty who will be part of a special "Salute to Injured Soldiers" at the start of each race.
"These individuals," said Major Chris Horeczy, Run Director for Canada Army Run, "are an inspiration and a demonstration that through hard work, focus, and determination it is possible to 'soldier on' and overcome great challenges. I have the deepest respect for the contributions and sacrifices they have made in the line of duty, and true admiration for what they have been able to accomplish. They are role models for us all, military and civilians alike."
Fundraising efforts for Canada Army Run go to Soldier On and the Military Families Fund -- charities that support injured soldiers and military families in need. Mitic has recently taken on the role of Outreach Coordinator for Soldier On, an initiative he benefitted from during recovery.
About Canada Army Run
Canada Army Run is a unique running event in which civilians run, walk, or wheel side-by-side with members of the Canadian Forces (Air Force, Army, and Navy) in half-marathon and 5K events. Launched in 2008 with 7,000 runners (a Canadian record for the largest number of entrants for an inaugural run), this event is expected to grow to become a North American destination run. Fundraising efforts benefit Soldier On and the Military Families Fund. The 2009 Canada Army Run is scheduled for September 20.
Jody Mitic (left) with his coach, Phil Marsh. Photo credit: Headlight Inc.