Runner takes on Marine Corps Marathon to strengthen America’s service members

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Nicole and Mike pose at the Chicago Marathon.

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Nicole's brother is currently serving in the Army as a chinook pilot.

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Nicole and Mike smile after crossing the finish line at the Chicago Marathon.

Running a marathon is not a challenge that many of us are willing to accept. But for Nicole Sager, a member of Harris Teeter’s social media team, the challenge is something she’s excited to begin. Her inspiration? Strengthening America’s service members and their families.

As part of Team USO of NC, Sager will take on the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, DC this October while supporting our service members every step of the way as a charity runner.

Sager was inspired to join Team USO of NC by working on the Harris Teeter Support Our Troops Campaign social media efforts. Through the campaign, she learned that the USO of NC stands by the side of our service members from the time that they enter the military and through their transition to civilian life.

That real impact made the decision easy for Sager, who comes from a family with a deep military history. Both of her grandfathers served, and her brother is currently serving as an Army Chinook pilot.

“It means so much more to have an organization that has so many ties to you and your family,” said Sager.

Sager won’t be running alone. She’s been training with her fiancé, Mike, for the upcoming race. The couple just announced their engagement last month and will be planning their wedding simultaneously with their marathon training. The two ran the Chicago Marathon last year for a charity in support of cancer patients and survivors. Mike also has connections to the military through his grandparents.

As a two-time Marathon veteran including one previous Marine Corps Marathon, Sager looks forward to the strong sense of community displayed during the race.

“I have never done a race … that had that kind of community support. It’s really encouraging to see that amount of service members, especially at the end of the race” Sager said.

When asked if she had any tips for anyone considering running with Team USO of NC, Sager said that they should do it, and remember the end goal.

“It’s more of a mental game than it is a physical game,” said Sager. “But at the end of that race, the feeling, there’s nothing that compares to it.”

Join Nicole Sager in support of our service members and military families with a donation at https://www.crowdrise.com/mcm-teamusonc, or by running with us as a member of Team USO of NC at https://northcarolina.uso.org/events/164.

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