While some KB Tough Run participants were gasping for air on the hot and humid afternoon, two local men donned gas masks and 35-pound rucksacks to show their support for servicemen and women.
JD Heather, Oregon, and Mark Robinson, a Mt. Morris native who now lives in Rockford, ran the three-mile course carrying an American flag and yellow ribbon flags.
"We try and pair up with other charities," said Robinson who was wearing a Semper Fi Fund Team t-shirt. "We run for publicity."
The back of the shirt read: "Our debt to the heroic men and valiant women in the service of our country can never be repaid. They have earned our undying gratitude. We will never forget their sacrifices."
According to the group's website, Running for a Cause is a fundraising organization focused and dedicated on raising awareness and support to nonprofits that provide for wounded veterans, and/or the families.
Robinson said the gas masks and rucksacks, weighing around 25-30 pounds, are used as a tribute those who serve.
"We put bricks in the rucksacks we use which is nothing compared to what our soliders carry," he said. "For me, I felt that I owed it to them because they have made the ultimate sacrifice and their families have made the ultimate sacrifice and some of them have been through hell.
"The emotion that goes with it is nuts," Robinson said.
For more information, visit runningforacause. net.