Military wife hosts marathon for spouse

By Keisha Howerth

Residents can support a local soldier just by walking.

The Marine Marathon is sponsored by Meaghan Gulke, who put together the event as a way to show support for her husband, Cpl. Brett Gulke, a 2009 Sycamore High School graduate who has been deployed to Afghanistan. It’s an ongoing event that will end with a marathon event Nov. 22 at the Kishwaukee YMCA, 2500 W. Bethany Road.

Gulke said the event was put together for a contest by other Marine spouses to see which unit can first record 15,000 miles — the distance between their base in California and Afghanistan and back — in their community. The winning unit will receive a prize that has yet to be determined.

“We have an advantage because of a wonderful community,” Gulke said of Sycamore. “Everybody knows Brett and supports him.”

By holding this event, Gulke wants to show soldiers overseas how people support their actions.

“For what these boys do for us, it’s important to give back to them and show our support,” Gulke said.

The marathon has also benefited the soldiers’ families.

“Getting up to walk and recording the miles I get in gives me something else to think about,” Gulke said.

Members can sign a tracking sheet outside the wellness center to record how many steps they take, said Heather Eade, marketing and communications director at the YMCA.

For the free marathon event at the YMCA on Nov. 22, members from the Sycamore and DeKalb communities are invited to run, jog or walk around the track and get more miles in.

The event will be held from 2 to 5 p.m. so more people can come after work, including Sycamore Mayor Ken Mundy.

“He’s been keeping me updated on what’s going on in Sycamore,” Gulke said.

Mundy helped out with the marathon by pledging a total of 11,315 miles logged by 1,825 runners in the Pumpkin Festival 10K in October.

Gulke hopes to see people dressed in red at the event on Nov. 22.

“Every Friday is Red Friday,” Gulke said. “It’s to show remembrance for every deployed soldier until they come home.”

Gulke will continue to show support for the soldiers overseas by sending care packages. She’d like to set up a booth to collect money and items from the community to send overseas.