North County Times: Former Marine launching coast-to-coast fundraiser

By Mark Walker | North County Times | | March 19, 2012

Longtime marathoner and former U.S. Marine Rick Hermelin is set to leave for Perris Island, S.C., on Tuesday to begin a cross-country ride to raise money for the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund.

Hermelin, an Encinitas resident, is making the journey on an elliptical bicycle and hopes to raise at least $10,000.

His effort, first profiled in the North County Times, in November involves propelling the vehicle from the Marine Corps boot camp in South Carolina to San Diego’s Marine Corps Recruit Depot.

Hermelin, 71, vows to make the journey in 100 days.

He’s spent the last two months working with the staff at the ElliptiGO manufacturing and sales location in Solana Beach to get ready.

He plans to average at least 30 miles a day.

A massage therapist, Hermelin has 100 marathons and 100 half-marathons under his belt.

The Semper Fi fund is the well-regarded Oceanside-based charity that helps injured U.S. troops and their families with immediate financial needs as well as specialized equipment, adaptive housing, transportation, education and job-training.

If all goes well, Hermelin will roll into the Marine Corps Recruit Deport at the end of June.

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