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Two combat-tested Air Force pilots will run a marathon at the North Pole to support the SOWF

Thursday, January 10, 2013  
Posted by: Edie Rosenthal
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Two combat-tested Air Force pilots on a mission to provide college scholarships for the children of fallen special operations soldiers have secured spots on an expedition to run a marathon at the North Pole.

Air Force Capt. Kevin Johnson (left) and Nolan Peterson (below, right) will travel to the top of the world in April and, once the conditions are right, run 26.2 miles across the Arctic ice cap to raise money for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation, a top-rated nonprofit organization that supports the families of fallen and wounded special operations personnel.

Johnson is a B1-B supersonic bomber instructor pilot with more than 1,100 hours of combat time over Afghanistan. Peterson is a former special operations pilot and combat veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan.

"Both Kevin and I have flown in combat and have seen firsthand what our special operations forces do on a daily basis,” said Peterson. "The money and publicity we hope to generate for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation by running a marathon at the North Pole is our way of honoring the heroism of these guys and to repay the sacrifice of their families."

The 2013 North Pole Marathon will be run at the geographic North Pole on an ice sheet some 6 - 12 feet thick above 12,000 feet of Arctic Ocean. Racers will be flown from the island of Svalbard to the North Pole in a Russian Antonov cargo jet specially equipped to land on the ice. Athletes will face extreme sub-zero temperatures, gale force winds and the threat of polar bears.

The Special Operations Warrior Foundation provides full college scholarships to the surviving children of fallen Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps special operations personnel. There are nearly 1,000 children in the program, ranging in age from newborn to young adult. Today there are some 150 students are enrolled in colleges and universities across the country.

"It is so heart-warming to see such dedication and support for our families of fallen warriors,” said John T. Carney, Jr., SOWF President. "Not only will the efforts of Nolan and Kevin raise awareness for the foundation’s programs, but it is a wonderful tribute to the men and women who have lost their lives while serving their country and a poignant reminder that their sacrifices will not be forgotten.”

Below:  Nolan Peterson pictured in Antartica after completing a marathon in 2010.

 Click here to support Nolan Peterson and Keith Johnson in their North Pole Marathon

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