By Helen Hawes | KPBS San Diego | KPBS.org | March 20, 2012
A 71-year-old former Marine is about to glide across the nation to raise money for the Semper Fi Fund, a charity established to help injured veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
Rick Hermalin of Encinitas is going to ride an elliptiGO bike from Marine Recruit Depot in Parris Island, S.C. to Marine Corps Depot in San Diego.
The goal is to raise $10,000 for the wounded warriors. So far he has raised $2,200. Hermalin’s hitch is called “100 days for the Corps,” in accordance with his other achievements as a veteran runner.
“I completed a hundred marathons, a hundred half marathons, a hundred 10ks and I finished my last official run, which was the San Diego Rock n’ Roll Half Marathon, June of last year, that re-inspired me,” he said.
Hermalin began running when he was 35 and he continued to pound the payment for 35 more years, until he was 70. That was when he got the idea of going coast to coast on the elliptical bike.
“I’m interested in being able to give back for a lot of value that I’ve received. The importance of being and staying fit has definitely been a factor in being able to carry through for (all these) years since I got out," he added.
Hermalin powers his elliptical bike with a low impact running motion. He is hitting the road on Friday, to celebrate the day he became a Marine in 1959. He is documenting his journey in his blog, 100 Days For the Corps, where he is also accepting donations for the Semper Fi Fund.