Hundreds Take Part in 6th Annual Jerabek Challenge

Jerabek Photo WBAY ABC 15262593_BG2
PFC Ryan Jerabek. Photo courtesy of WBAY News.

By Molly Hendrickson | ABC 2 WBAY | | August 14, 2011

An annual run in Hobart keeps an area Marine’s memory alive.

Pfc. Ryan Jerabek died in 2004 while serving in Iraq.

Saturday marked the sixth annual Jerabek Challenge in Hobart.

From the moment you step foot in the small Hobart park, it’s clear you’re somewhere special.

The kind of place where the community really is unified in both patriotism and loyalty.

“One of these men will run the course today in his memory,” says Ken Jerabek, Ryan’s father.

It was the loss of Pfc. Ryan Jerabek that first brought all these people out.

“I’ve had uncles and grandpas in the military,” says Andrew Heinritz, a Jerabek Challenge participant. “So it’s kind of close to home, but also, they’re defending our country so if we can help them every little bit it helps.”

Seven years after Ryan’s death, they continue to come back. Joining his military brothers, running the same route the then 18 year old ran so many times during his Marine Corps training.

But for Ryan’s family, it’s not just about their son.

“It’s a great event for me to honor my son,” says Ken Jerabek. “But it’s not only about him, it’s about all the men and women who’ve paid the ultimate sacrifice.”

A day to both remember and honor history in a place that knows the weight of sacrifice and the pride of being an American.

Proceeds from the event benefit the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund, a non-profit organization which provides financial assistance to wounded Marines and their families.

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