Sunday, November 25, 2007

seattle marathon 2007 results

On this sleepless night, David Bruce Hardt started seeing things. They were real, not imaginary, and he felt ignorant he hadn't noticed them before.

He walked through the barracks in Iraq last July and made some stirring observations. Spc. Hardt, a Fort Lewis soldier, saw a board with all the names of his lost comrades, resting just above the door he exits through to go run each day. Hardt trudged down the hallway with his head down. He then looked up and saw a picture of a sergeant in a wheelchair, a white bandage covering his amputated leg. And he read a letter from a captain's wife, updating her husband's recovery from a devastating spinal injury.

Hardt grew angry, and once he relaxed, he made a declaration.

"On Nov. 25, 2007, I am running the Seattle Marathon," he said.

He discovered a profound reason to run, at last. During two tours in Iraq, Hardt always would run ― in 125-degree heat, despite the noise of mortars and machine guns, even while more soldiers died ― and his motivation was just to finish. He hadn't run a marathon in three years, stopping because he'd lost the passion to compete.

Hello, passion.

On Sunday, Hardt, 31, will run 26.2 miles, wearing a shirt with the names of 48 soldiers his Army unit lost.

He will carry a picture of his uncle Ross, who, eerily, was deployed from Fort Lewis before dying in the Vietnam War. Hardt has been struggling with right-knee tendinitis and leg pain, but he will finish. He must.

"It doesn't matter how much pain I'm going to be in," Hardt said. "I could be bleeding, and my eyes could be popping out. Run, crawl, dive or duck ― I'm finishing.

"I hope I can put a face on these people we've lost. If you ask anybody who's the first person we lost in Iraq, few would know the answer. That's sad. They're just ink on a piece of paper, and you turn the page, and the ink is on your thumb. And that's all you remember."

Hardt is 6 feet 2 inches and 179 pounds of pure compassion. The San Bernardino, Calif., native exposes his heart like few men.

He says "I love you" more than a pop singer during a standing ovation. He loves to write; his nickname since basic training has been "Writer." Throughout nearly four years of active duty, he's written a popular blog, "David Hardt in Iraq" (, contributed to The Fort Lewis Ranger newspaper and started a book he plans to publish in 2011, when his active-duty service ends.

He already has a title: "My Rifle and My Last Four."

But he wants to be more than his rifle and the last four digits of his Social Security number. He wants all soldiers to be seen more completely.

First, Hardt had to become more than just a soldier. He has evolved along with the war. During his first tour, he sought only to fight for his country, and he did so with venom. He stashed his heart and battled.

He remembers April 14, 2004, too well. The night before was the last time he could sleep without medication.

On this day, some troops were attacked while they were on patrol. A grenade hit them, and Hardt wound up in the middle of the street, on his back. He crawled to his gun, crawled behind a dirt pile and fired back until he was safe. He was wounded but alive and later received a Purple Heart.

"Got me a Purple Heart ― hurray," Hardt deadpanned.

More than the honorable recognition, he craved perspective. His second deployment, which began in 2006, provided it. When Hardt returned home on Sept. 17 this year, he was different. The war was different. Not only did he become human by learning about loss, he also came to appreciate Iraqi citizens.

He rediscovered his heart, found it on Baghdad's notorious Haifa Street. In an alley, he ran into a girl who couldn't have been more than 12. She looked at him and said, "I thank you." Then she kissed him on the cheek.

His thinking shifted from conquer to cradle.

"It changed everything," Hardt said. "I had lost my passion for children. For love. I became indifferent. After I saw the girl, I started seeing people again, flesh and blood. People who needed us."

He's not just serving the Army's 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, 5th Battalion, 20th Infantry C Company, 2nd Platoon Reapers at Fort Lewis.

He's serving people, period.

And he's running Sunday to show his compassion.

"There are days I feel like I can't do what I want to do," Hardt said. "I'll hit a depression. There are days when I'm just like, 'I don't want to let anybody down.' I get nervous. I start thinking, 'What if? What if? What if?' "

He then relaxes and focuses on this journey. This is the culmination of those 40- and 80-mile weeks of running in Iraq, when his life was always in jeopardy. Running was his release, regardless of the danger, taking him back to when he was 18 and competing in marathons and half-marathons all the time. He estimates he ran about 50 of those before he became "lazy, fat and unmotivated."

To gain motivation, he now needs only to remember young soldiers who died. They were 19, 20, 21 years old. Hardt can't fathom what it would be like to live such an incomplete life.

"I would give up my years to let a kid get past 21," he said.

He can offer only his body, however.

He will finish. He must.

"There's no doubt I will," Hardt said. "There's no doubt we will do the same in Iraq. We bleed, and we may die, but we've still got the resolve to continue the mission.

"I'll be damned if I'm not going to run my heart out for them
They had their 15 minutes - or maybe longer - and then they vanished. Their names are as much a part of Boston's storied history as baked beans, the Big Dig, and the 2004 World Series. We picked out ones whom we thought you might be curious about today. Oh, and if you're wondering about Whitey, sorry, no word yet. We e-mailed him. It bounced back.
Email|Print| Text size � + By James Sullivan, James Horrigan, And Janice O'leary
November 25, 2007

WHERE ARE THEY NOW? Blasts from the past
Imagine That

'Good Will Hunting' then and now
Behind the Scenery
Supporting roles
more stories like thisThe Boston College wide receiver who caught Doug Flutie's legendary "Hail Mary" pass to beat Miami in 1984, Gerard Phelan has been working for the financial communications firm Bowne & Co. for almost 20 years. He married college sweetheart and cheerleading captain Lisa Pacella. Their three children are budding athletes. Son Alex is a quarterback at Xaverian Brothers in Westwood, older daughter Taylor is pursuing track and soccer, and younger daughter Hannah recently finished second in the state on the balance beam. Phelan, 44, still sees Flutie "five, six, seven times a year." Their police escort after the Miami game remains a cherished memory: "I felt like one of the Beatles."


A Boston University dropout who played in several local bands (including the Grass Menagerie with Willie Alexander), Doug Yule joined the infamous Velvet Underground in 1968. New York's Velvets played Boston so much that they considered it a second home. "In fact, for a long time, even New Yorkers thought we were from Boston," says Yule, who assumed leadership upon Lou Reed's departure. After souring on the music business, he built ski chalets in New Hampshire and became a cabinetmaker, which led to his current passion, building violins. The peripatetic Yule, now 60, recently moved to Seattle, where he plays fiddle in three old-timer groups. Each violin he crafts, he says, "teaches you something new."


"When things go wrong, don't walk away," went the opening lyrics of Robin Lane and the Chartbusters' biggest hit, which earned the band a video appearance in the inaugural hour of MTV in 1981. More than a quarter-century later, Lane is still working to get people to confront their emotions. For six years now, she has run A Woman's Voice, a workshop that encourages abuse victims to express themselves by writing songs about their experience. "Most of them don't think they can write a song, and they're totally nervous," says Lane, who is in her late 50s and lives in Western Massachusetts. "When we finish, they're jumping up and down." Once married to Andy Summers of The Police, she's been writing her memoirs, studying psychology, and performing living room concerts for fans and supporters of the workshop. Though the Chartbusters still do occasional shows, she says she doesn't miss the music industry. "When I was younger, I never thought I'd quit," she says. "But it can break your heart." This year, she healed another wound when she met the son she gave up for adoption 38 years ago. Not surprisingly, he's a musician.


At 68, Bob Gamere, the well-traveled sportscaster and former host of Candlepins for Cash, is "semi-retired," though he's been doing some announcing at Boston University track meets and was until recently calling horse races at the Brockton Fair. "You do the things they ask you to do," he says. A long-distance runner, he still pounds the pavement with the Somerville Road Runners, though he skipped the Marathon this year. Two of his sons are in local media - Geoffrey ("Geespin") is a DJ on JAM'N 94.5, and Patrick is a NESN videographer. The third, Andrew, coaches football and basketball at a Connecticut boarding school. Gamere, a flamboyant figure whose troubles got him fired from several TV gigs, still gets stopped by people who appeared on Candlepins, which ran from 1973 to 1980. "Fourteen thousand people bowled on the show, and they all expect me to remember them," he says with a laugh. "I say, 'Yeah, you won nine dollars.' I'm usually right on, or close to


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