Cayman Islands Half Marathon: Running to Remember SGT Geraldo Andre Mora-Cruz

With essentially a 2 1/2 week break from running after the Richmond Marathon on November 11th, I’m now staring down my hometown race, the Cayman Islands Half Marathon. If the weather the last two years shows up (80 degrees and stupidly high humidity…at the 5am start!) and if my 6 mi treadmill run today told me anything, it was saying that I was going to have a bit of a rough go of it on Sunday. Yikes!

My beautiful, inspirational yellow flower. Run with JOY.

Between not staying loose, running and now dealing with a very challenging personal situation in my life, my focus has not been on running since Richmond. Instead, I’ve been distracted and uninterested. Not what someone wants to read when you go to a running blog, right? But it happens to all of us at some point. Right now, my brain is trying to focus on the running, and even if it will be a tough run on Saturday, I’m determined to run with as much joy as I can find. Because life is so short and not everyone can run. I have this incredible opportunity to be running, enjoying my country, sharing in the excitement of so many others’ race day experiences, and to honour a hero. All at the same time.

So as I navigate what will undoubtedly be the most difficult, sad, trying months of my life coming up, I will try to remember I have been given a gift with my running. The chance to use my body for a purpose for which it was built. For showing others I care. For reminding myself that everything in life is a race – that when things get hard, it is ok to walk or ask for help. And that eventually if you keep moving forward, you make it to the finish line. Finally, that there is joy to be found in everything. So join me and run with joy this Sunday – for yourself, for someone else, for SGT Geraldo Andre Mora-Cruz.

In a year when Puerto Rico was devastated by hurricanes, running for SGT Mora-Cruz, a native of Puerto Rico, is especially poignant. His family has suffered so much in their loss, and to now have watched their island home being destroyed by Mother Nature? Things are never easy in either scenario, so to have to face both in a short amount of time must be beyond a test of what they can endure. My hope is that by running with and for SGT Mora-Cruz on another Caribbean island, I can bring them some hope and comfort that people do care about them.

SGT Geraldo Andre Mora-Cruz
09/11/81 – 03/15/15

Geraldo Andre Mora-Cruz was born in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico on September 11, 1981. In 2000, he left his engineering studies from University of Puerto Rico (CAAM) and joined the US Army at the age of 18. He served in Germany, Iraq, Korea, and Japan and had two deployments in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003 and 2007. He was awarded the Army Commendation Medal, five Army Achievement Medals, the National Defense Service Medal, the Iraq Campaign Medal with two Bronze Stars, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Korean Defense Service Medal, two Non-commissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbons, Army Service Ribbons, four Overseas Service Ribbons, the Driver and Mechanic Badge with W Bar, the Combat and Special Skill Badge, the Basic Marksmanship Qualifying Badge, the Rifle Bar, and the Overseas Service Bar. He was assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 48th Chemical Brigade, Fort Hood, Texas.

Growing up he loved playing video games. As an adult he enjoyed computers and electronics. He also enjoyed riding motorcycles, movies and music. Loved ones left behind: his Mother Lydia Cruz, step-dad Nelson Ortiz; sisters Ideliz Mora, Vanessa Mora; three children: Elijah Mora (13), Julianna Mora (5), Alexander Mora (2); and uncles, aunts, cousins and others. SGT Geraldo Andre Mora-Cruz lost his battle with PTS on March 15, 2015. He was 33 years old.
#22toomany #OurHeroes are #NeverForgotten

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