PROJECT: TEAM X-T.R.E.M.E
The XTERRA Foundation, a 501c3 non-profit organization whose mission is to provide help, support, and hope to the underprivileged and physically challenged, is proud to announce a new project-based fundraising strategy that will focus its efforts on three to four specific causes through the course of the year.
The first project is dedicated to Team X-T.R.E.M.E., a non-profit support organization working to raise awareness and funds for wounded veterans. The organization directs its focus to wounded service members of the Iraq and Afghanistan campaigns through innovation, vigilance and “Xtreme” feats of physical and mental endurance.
Specifically, the XTERRA Foundation is focused on raising funds to help Team X-T.R.E.M.E. bring a wounded vet to the XTERRA Trail Running World Championship in Hawaii on December 4, 2011. Contributions above and beyond those direct expenses will go towards purchasing service dogs, prostheses equipment, and training for wounded veterans.
“Team X-T.R.E.M.E. founder Jeremy Soles, a former Sgt. in the United States Marine Corps, launched the organization by running the XTERRA Richmond 10k trail run in a gas mask back in 2009,” explained XTERRA Foundation President Tom Kiely. “That got everyone’s attention, especially fellow service members who understand how difficult it is to breath in those things let alone run a brutal six-mile obstacle course in 100-degree heat. Since then, he’s accomplished increasingly difficult tasks and honored several wounded veterans along the way. We are proud to support his vision.”
Just this past June, Soles and his team of Jim Snyder, Matt Small, Colin Bunn, and Ben Dyer set a Guinness World Record by completing the XTERRA 21K trail run while wearing gas masks (Note: the gas masks symbolize perseverance and overcoming mental and physical obstacles). The effort was in honor of Staff Sergeant Ryan Major, a 26-year-old Army veteran who lost both his legs in 2006 when an improvised explosive device was detonated in Ramadi, Iraq. Before he was wounded in combat his ambition was to become an Army Ranger and jump out of planes and through the efforts of Team X-T.R.E.M.E., Major fulfilled that lifelong dream and jumped out of an airplane with the Golden Nights, landing right on Brown’s Island just before the start of the race (see video).
“This meant so much to me. It’s truly an honor, and I appreciate what these guys did for me and are doing for all the wounded veterans,” said Major.
Team X-T.R.E.M.E. is currently searching for the honoree it will bring to Hawaii for the XTERRA Trail Running World Championship in December, and the XTERRA Foundation is inviting its friends and family in the XTERRA community to join in their efforts to raise funds for the honoree’s trip.