Mayor runs ‘Trifecta’ for Purple Heart Gateway Arch

After running an Ultra 50K – over 31 miles – Huntington Mayor Richard Strick (left) and his friend and co-runner Brandi Krumanaker stand in front of the T-33 Shooting Star jet at the Veterans Memorial in Memorial Park, where a Purple Heart monument has been incorporated. Strick and Krumanaker ran the Ultra 50K as part of the Marine Corps Marathan Trifecta, which also included a 10K and a marathon. The duo completed the trifecta as a way to raise funds and awareness for the Purple Heart Gateway Arch project in Huntington.
After running an Ultra 50K – over 31 miles – Huntington Mayor Richard Strick (left) and his friend and co-runner Brandi Krumanaker stand in front of the T-33 Shooting Star jet at the Veterans Memorial in Memorial Park, where a Purple Heart monument has been incorporated. Strick and Krumanaker ran the Ultra 50K as part of the Marine Corps Marathan Trifecta, which also included a 10K and a marathon. The duo completed the trifecta as a way to raise funds and awareness for the Purple Heart Gateway Arch project in Huntington. Photo provided.

Huntington’s Mayor Richard Strick ran over 64 miles to raise funds and awareness for the Purple Heart Gateway Arch in Huntington.

The Arch will eventually be installed over West Park Drive, near the Historic Forks of the Wabash trailhead.

Strick virtually ran the Marine Corps Marathon Trifecta, which included three races – a 10K (six miles), a marathon (26.22 miles), and an ultra 50K (over 31 miles).

Strick says he finished in late October. He recently finished a training he calls “couch to marathon in a year.”

He said running the trifecta was “quite an experience and challenge.”

However, he said not only was it a benefit for the arch project, but it also gave him an opportunity to be, “a model for our community as our leader.”

The trifecta, he says, gave him a great chance to work on his own mental and physical health.

“If I don’t take care of myself, I’ll run myself into the ground,” he stated, “It’s important to keep focused, healthy and engaged.”

Strick says he feels the most devastating aspect of the COVID-19 pandemic is the sense of isolation – physically and subconsciously – that many folks are feeling daily.

It seems no one is exempt, and as the fund-raising for the arch project was just gaining momentum, COVID-19 put that to a stop, too.

In February of 2020, it was reported on the Purple Heart Gateway Arch Facebook page that over $21,000 had been raised towards the arch.

Then, the COVID-19 pandemic threw a wrench in things, and the committee had to stop meeting.

As Strick put it, “2020 wouldn’t be 2020 if it wasn’t disruption.”

Only in September did the committee pick their meetings back up, and since, they have been getting together every two weeks.

The gateway arch project is part of the City of Huntington’s desire to give recognition to its veterans.

 

In 2015, Huntington was designated as a Purple Heart City. A memorial to Purple Heart recipients was then placed in Memorial Park.

West Park Drive is a Purple Heart Corridor, and the desire to erect the arch is in part “as a signal that you have entered a Purple Heart Corridor,” said Strick.

Over the weekend, on Nov. 7, during the annual Veterans Day walk/run/ bike 5K event, a  $10,000 check was presented to the arch committee by the committee that plans the 5K event.

The mayor said originally the fundraising goal was $170,000. However, he is hesitant to place a final number on the total dollars needed to fund the project – mostly due to the uncertainty surrounding the project and day to day life.

He said that currently the original proposed design for the arch is under review, however, he stresses that if anything should change with the design, it will still end up being a significant marker with the same magnitude as the originally pro-posed structure.

The Huntington County Community Foundation is fiscally responsible for all funds raised for the arch.

More information about the arch can be found on Facebook at “Purple Heart Gateway Arch – Huntington, Indiana.”

For ways to donate, visit www.huntingtonccf.org/purpleheart.