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DeMar 5k Run and 1 Mile Walk Returns Veterans Day Weekend
Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
10:30AM / Wednesday, November 09, 2022
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The Up Front for DeMar 5k Run and 1 mile Walk returns after a 2-year absence, marking 10 years since SPC Michael R DeMarsico II was killed in action.
"The event gives people an opportunity to continue to have an outlet to do something for Michael, to continue his legacy and keep his story relevant," Race Organizer Eileen Sullivan said about the race that will be held on Nov. 13. "I see it more as a vessel of allowing that. Michael's friends and family continue to participate, and there are always great stories to be told. A few of Michael's soldiers have participated, and that's been amazing."
This annual event raises funds for the SPC Michael R DeMarsico II Scholarship Fund and honors DeMarsico who was killed in action on Aug. 16, 2012, while serving in Afghanistan. 
DeMarsico, 20, was killed nearly 10 years ago by a roadside bomb while on patrol which prompted an outpouring of grief from the community.
This community reaction inspired the event, said Sullivan.
"The race came to be because of the way that the community came out when Michael was brought home," she said. "I told his grandmother that night that the community would continue to celebrate Michael and support his memory and family. The race grew from that promise."
She said DeMarsico's family and friends always participate. She said one year the Drury Football Team participated. 
"The entire team, in uniform," she said. "It was a beautiful and emotional tribute. Michael was on their field before the battlefield, and that connection was powerful."
DeMarsico was a Drury graduate and athlete.
The race returns after two years of being put on hold through the COVID-19 pandemic. Sullivan said organizers did not want to risk the health of participants.
"We hated having to do that, but we felt that community health and safety were too important. I am very happy that we are back," she said. "It's important that Michael's name is continued to be said and his story told." 
She estimated to date the race has raised nearly $12,000.
"It's about community, honor, remembrance. You don't have to be an athlete, you simply have to recognize that freedom is never free and that Michael is someone who paid that price for all of us," she said. "He is someone's son, sibling, friend, and there are so many Michaels across this country who continue to do the same. They stand up for us, they put their life on the line for us - Michael loved his community and he served for us." 
"It's our turn."
The race begins at Veterans Memorial in North Adams at 9 a.m. and ends at the American Legion. People can register online.
Packet pickup and race registration will be held at the American Legion Saturday, Nov. 12, from 4 to 7 p.m. and race day registration will be available at 7:30 a.m. at the starting line.
More information can be found on the Facebook event page.
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