71-year-old Former Marine Running Across Country on an ElliptiGO to Raise Money for Injured Marines

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Rick Hermelin to trek more than 3,000 miles from South Carolina to San Diego to support the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund and raise awareness about the benefits of physical fitness

Rick on his ElliptiGO

To finish this 3,000-mile trek will be a great personal accomplishment, but raising money for the Semper Fi Fund and helping out other Marines is what will make my effort meaningful.

ElliptiGO, Inc. (http://www.elliptigo.com), creators of the world’s first elliptical bike, today announced that 71-year-old former Marine Rick Hermelin will attempt to run on an ElliptiGO from the Marine Corps Recruiting Depot in Parris Island, South Carolina to the Marine Corps Recruiting Depot in San Diego, California in exactly 100 days. He will start his 3,000-mile trek on March 23rd, 2012 and intends to finish on June 30th, 2012. Hermelin will be self-supported for the crossing and hopes to raise at least $10,000 for the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund (http://www.semperfifund.org), a non-profit set up to provide immediate financial support for injured and critically ill members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families.

Rick served in the Marine Corps from 1959 to 1963 as an Aviation Communications Technician, but it wasn’t until later in life that he developed his love of running. Over the course of 35 years, from 1976 to 2011, he completed 100 marathons, 100 half-marathons, and 100 10K races. Having reached this incredible milestone in June 2011, he started looking for a new challenge.

“I had thought about running across the U.S. before,” said Hermelin, “but I wasn’t sure if my body would hold up for the entire journey. Plus, it would take me about 6 months.” That’s when one of his clients suggested he try out the ElliptiGO as an alternative.

Designed by runners, the ElliptiGO is the first outdoor, low-impact, fitness device specifically designed to emulate the running motion. It allows athletes of all levels to get a high-intensity workout without experiencing the repetitive impact of running. Healthy athletes and injured athletes alike have found it the most effective way to get an outdoor running experience without the usual pounding on their bodies.

In keeping with his “100” theme, Rick put together a plan to run across the country on the ElliptiGO in 100 days to raise awareness about the benefits of being physically fit, something he learned in the Marines. That’s when he approached ElliptiGO co-founder and co-president, Bryan Pate with his idea. “I was really impressed that Rick wanted to take on this adventure,” Pate said. “As a fellow former Marine, I admired his courage in attempting this crossing alone and appreciated that he wanted to help out his fellow Marines.”

Together, Bryan and Rick identified the Semper Fi Fund as the ideal organization to incorporate into the event. “The Marine Corps had such a positive impact on my life and supporting the Semper Fi Fund seemed like a great way to honor that influence,” said Hermelin. “To finish this 3,000-mile trek will be a great personal accomplishment, but raising money for the Semper Fi Fund and helping out other Marines is what will make my effort meaningful.”

The Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that directs urgently needed resources to post 9-11 Marines and sailors, as well as members of the Army, Air Force or Coast Guard who serve in support of Marine forces. The Semper Fi Fund provides relief for financial needs that arise during hospitalization and recovery, as well as assistance for those with perpetuating needs. Since establishing this fund in 2004, they have issued more than 38,000 grants totaling more than $57 million to thousands of Marines and their families.

If successful, Rick will become the first person to ride an ElliptiGO across the U.S. “Rick inspires our entire elliptical biking community, and we’re excited to help him attempt this feat,” said Pate. “We’ve had many athletes accomplish significant feats on an ElliptiGO – dozens of customers have completed 100-mile century rides, ultramarathoner Dean Karnazes rode an ElliptiGO from San Francisco to Los Angeles in 2010, and one customer rode from Canada to Mexico, but Rick will be the first person to go coast to coast across the country.”

Anyone interested in Rick’s trek can follow him on his 100 Days for the Corps blog: http://www.100daysforthecorps.wordpress.com. Donations to the Semper Fi Fund in Rick’s name can be made on his fundraising page: http://www.stayclassy.org/fundraise?fcid=178860.

For more information about ElliptiGO and its products, visit http://www.elliptigo.com or follow them on Twitter @elliptigo and Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/elliptigo.

About ElliptiGO
ElliptiGO, Inc. is a San Diego-based company that created the world’s first elliptical bicycle. By modifying the elliptical trainer motion and combining it with the functionality of a bicycle, the ElliptiGO® line of bikes delivers a high-performance workout experience that closely mimics running outdoors while eliminating the impact. Elliptical biking is an effective way to build cardiovascular fitness without aggravating injuries, and a great alternative for people who can no longer run because of degenerative conditions. For everyone from the weekend warrior to the elite athlete, the ElliptiGO provides the most comfortable, fun and efficient way to get outside and be active. The full line of ElliptiGO® bikes is available for purchase at select retailers nationwide and through the company’s website: http://www.elliptigo.com.

About The Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund
The Semper Fi Fund (SFF) (http://www.semperfifund.org) is a non-profit organization that provides financial assistance and quality of life solutions for Marines and Sailors, as well as members of the Army, Air Force and Coast Guard who serve in support of Marine forces, when they become injured in post 9-11 combat or training operations, or they face life threatening illness or injury. Our fund provides relief to qualified Service members and their families for immediate financial needs that arise during hospitalization and recovery, as well as perpetuating needs such as home modifications, customized transportation and specialized equipment.

The Semper Fi Fund has awarded over 38,000 financial grants totaling more than $57 million in grants given to our injured and ill service members and their families.

The SFF was founded by Karen Guenther, a registered nurse and spouse of an active duty Marine who had first-hand knowledge of the challenges faced by wounded Marines and sailors returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. She, along with a dedicated group of military spouses, established Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund in May of 2004.

Media Contacts:
Erika Nelson
erika(at)elliptigo(dot)com
858.876.8677

Laura Castellvi
laura(dot)castellvi(at)semperfifund(dot)org
540.809.7863

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