By Kristy Snyder | North Hills Patch | Northhills.patch.com | July 3, 2011
More than 700 people participated in Saturday's Fearless 5K, a race organized to honor Marine Sgt. Joseph Caskey, 24, of West View, who was killed last June in Afghanistan.
His girlfriend, Megan Clark, organized the race. The couple had known each other since they were children and planned to marry.
â€œThings went so well,â€ said Clark, 24. â€œIâ€™m very happy. We are just so appreciative of everyone who came out, our sponsors, our volunteers. It wouldnâ€™t have happened without any of them.â€
The race at the North Park boat house began at 8:40 a.m. Participants ran or walked along Lakeshore Drive and then turned around for the finish. They used chips to record their times, and the fastest male and female runners received awards.
â€œItâ€™s a good cardio workout, and itâ€™s for a good cause,â€ said runner Thomas Greene, who finished with a time of 23:10. â€œThis is the first time my dad and I are running the race. It was fun. It wasnâ€™t that hard but it was a good push.â€
â€œIâ€™ve been racing a bit,â€ said runner Kathy Ramsey, who finished around 30:00. â€œMy cousin lives up here and said it was a good cause so we came out to support it. It was fun, a good time.â€
Before the race began, Josh Caskey gave a tribute speech in honor of his younger brother. Josh is also a Marine and was injured in the line of duty. He currently benefits from the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund, a charity that provides financial assistance to wounded Marines and their families. Proceeds from the event were donated to the charity.
â€œWe miss Joe dearly,â€ Josh Caskey said. â€œWe are so proud of this country and we love this country. The Semper Fi Fund is a great organization.â€
Rep. Adam Ravenstahl (D-North Side) presented a condolence resolution from the House of Representatives to Josephâ€™s parents, Gerald and Debbie Caskey. The resolution recognized Caskey's sacrifice for America, a principle instilled by his family. His parents, Gerald and Debbie, both served in the Army and instilled patriotism in their children.
â€œSgt. Caskey was a true hero, and he will be sorely missed,â€ said Ravenstahl as he read the resolution aloud.
â€œHe would have been very grateful,â€ said Tracey Clark, Meganâ€™s mother. â€œHe was so patriotic and a Marineâ€™s Marine. He loved the Marine Corps. And he would really have appreciated this.â€
Caskey was an avid fan of fitness and running, so combining the race and the Fourth of July weekend seemed appropriate, his family and friends said.
â€œWeâ€™re just proud to be here,â€ said his mother, Debbie.â€Weâ€™re proud for what our son did and what he meant.â€