Group Competes In Tough Mudder For Good Cause


By WSIL Sports

MARION -- Three years ago, Marion head football coach Kerry Martin and Marion assistant football coach Jason Dunning decided to challenge themselves by competing in a Tough Mudder. The two formed a group and they have competed in a Tough Mudder each year, including last weekend's event in Nashville, Tennessee.

The group consisted of 11 member and were led by Wildcats' assistant football coach Jason Dunning. They trained for months to compete in a tough mudder on June 7, 2014. It was a grueling race but each member of the group crossed the finish line.

"We finished as a group and no matter how fit someone is they are going to need help at some point on the course," said Dunning. "And that is the cool thing about it, there are people you don't know that you are helping."

"It really was an accomplishment by the team and that is why I did the event because of the team," said a member of the group John Markley.

But this group had more on its mind, than just competing in a race. With each step they took, they did so in honor of a father of a former Marion football player Don Irwin, Marion athletic director Mike Chornak, and a mother of a current Marion football player Traci Nicholson, all of whom are battling cancer.

"If they can go through this fight then we can run this course and when we were tired we were able to step back and see the big picture and that this is a small fight compared to the one that they are fighting," said Dunning.

"This is just one small way that we could encourage them as we go through this event together," said Markley. "We could recognize them and let them know that they are not going through the fight alone."


During the Tough Mudder competition, the group wore t-shirts that said, "if they can keep fighting, we can keep running." The motto rang in each member's mind, as they pushed through each of the race's obstacles.

"That was a part that we just kept thinking about that and looking at the back of the shirt and putting one foot in front of the other and finish the 10 miles," said Dunning.

The group hopes to expand to 20 members, when they compete in a Tough Mudder next year.


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