Seven junior officers dressed in blue T-shirts carried the U.S. flag as they crossed the finish line at New York's Ground Zero Saturday, completing the six-day relay run from North Carolina to benefit a charity assisting veterans returning to civilian life.
"It was pretty brutal," said Lt. Phil Cotter, 25, who returned from a tour in Afghanistan just three weeks ago. "But at least it's not the superhot deserts of Afghanistan."
The run raised $40,000 for The Mission Continues, and brought out a big crowd on the George Washington Bridge and dozens of other runners for the 10-mile home stretch into Lower Manhattan.
"After running 500 miles your motivation can be low, but seeing all those guys, we were just so pumped, and I think there was an adrenaline rush for the last 10 miles," Lt. Pat Thompson told the New York Daily News.