Coast Guard team participates in 200-mile continuous relay

5th Coast Guard District News
BALTIMORE – A Coast Guard Sector Baltimore team joined with friends and other runners to complete the 13th annual Tom’s Run held Friday and Saturday from Cumberland, Md., to Fort Hunt Park in Alexandria, Va.

Tom’s Run is a 200-mile continuous relay along the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal held in memory of Tom Brooks, a retired chief warrant officer in the Coast Guard who passed away in 2004 after contracting amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

The Sector Baltimore team consisted of 21 people and began as Lt. j.g. Maria Stiefel, a member of the Sector Baltimore running team, and Lonnie Suazo, the Sector Baltimore running team captain, started down the trail at 4 a.m. Friday to complete the first 11 miles of the relay.

“It was a great feeling to know that I was starting off the team and getting us off to a good start,” said Stiefel. “I only got two hours of sleep before hand because I was ready to start running.”

The team took turns running during the day and throughout Friday night, sleeping in cars whenever they could.

“I’ve never done Tom’s Run before, but I will do it again next year,” said Chief Petty Officer Jeffrey Charlot, a member of the Sector Baltimore running team. “I’ve really pushed myself to become a better runner on a couple of the legs. Most of it was just simply the camaraderie of working with my team to complete the goal.”

The team completed the race at Fort Hunt Park at 11:36 a.m. Saturday after more than 31 hours on the trail.

“Without the team’s effort, we wouldn’t be here right now,” said Suazo

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