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U.S. Navy Lt. Geoff Weber
Sailor Runs Across Virginia to Support Cancer Research
By Petty Officer 3rd Class Nicole Byrnes
Commander, Navy Region Mid-Atlantic Public Affairs
NORFOLK, Va., Nov. 14, 2006 — Nearly 4,000 people die each year of lung cancer in Virginia alone. To raise awareness of this illness and promote healthy lungs, a Navy lieutenant is using his passion for running.

Lt. Geoff Weber, based at Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek, completed the 262-mile run across Virginia for the American Lung Association, Nov. 1. The idea for this “Patriot Run” began while he was stationed in Iraq.

“You always want some sort of goal for deployment,” Weber said. “I was looking for a PT (physical training) goal and was trying to think of something for when I got back. I saw the American Lung Association was a charity partner of the Marine Corps Marathon. I wanted to help the Lung Association in some capacity, so I e-mailed them, and they told me if I raise donations they’ll give me an entry in the race.”

He’s an ultra marathon runner — marathons greater than 100 miles — and just running in the Marine Corps Marathon wasn’t the challenge he was looking for.

“I thought, they’re the American Lung Association of Virginia, so why not run across the state?” Weber said.

He returned to Virginia from Iraq, Oct. 15, and kicked off the run, Oct. 29.

For four days he averaged 55 miles. Weber’s friend drove an RV the whole way, which became his sanctuary during his downtime.

“Every time I’d finish for the day, it would be so nice to stop in there to get a shower and surf the Internet. I was so appreciative to have that incredible support,” he said.

Friends and family also supported Weber by running with him for a few miles along the way. He said his daughter and her cross country team ran with him for a few miles, his co-worker Chief Intelligence Specialist Chris Kincaid joined him for 8 miles, and his driver parked the RV for the last mile of the race and ran with him to the finish line.

Weber is passionate about promoting healthy lungs because lung cancer took his grandfather’s life. He said his grandfather’s death shocked him because he lived an active,
healthy life. Even though lung cancer can affect healthy
Lt. Geoff Weber of Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek runs through Quantico, Oct. 30, as part of his 262-mile Patriot Run across Virginia. Weber ran across Virginia to promote healthy lungs and raise awareness of lung cancer for the American Lung Association of Virginia. He completed the run at the Virginia Beach War Memorial near the oceanfront, Nov. 1. Photo courtesy Lt. Geoff Weber

people, Weber said people could reduce the chances of getting this illness by not smoking.

“If there’s anything someone can do to just stop smoking and get help, they’re less likely to be one of those 4,000 people a year to die of lung cancer,” he said.

His run helped Virginia kick off Lung Cancer Awareness Month, which began, Nov. 1. According to the American Lung Association of Virginia, lung cancer is the leading cancer killer in both men and women in the United States and causes more deaths than the next three most common cancers (colon, breast and prostate) combined.

The association hopes the Patriot Run will also assist with recruiting Virginia Lung Cancer Research Plate applications. Virginians now have a new way to support lung cancer research, awareness and prevention by purchasing a special license plate from the Department of Motor Vehicles. Before the plates can be officially developed by the DMV, 350 applications must be received.

Virginian drivers can order the plates from the Web site www.lungsusa.org/virginia.

Even though Weber has completed his run, he is not done promoting healthy lungs. Weber said he has raised $2,000 for the American Lung Association of Virginia and has a goal of $50,000.

Last Updated:
11/14/2006, Eastern Daylight Time
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