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Soldiers complete 500-mile charity run to Ground Zero

Aug. 18, 2013 at 11:23 AM

NEW YORK, Aug. 18 (UPI) -- A squad of U.S. Army officers said the weather during their 500-mile run to New York City was better than Afghanistan.

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.

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