Run With Our Heroes during the 2014 KDF miniMarathon - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Run With Our Heroes during the 2014 KDF miniMarathon

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LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - We start them young and we make them difficult. We run races for lots of reasons and the growing trend in the Kentucky Derby Festival miniMarathon and Marathon is to run for someone else.

"I like to run and I might as well run for a good cause if I'm gonna do it. What better cause than our veterans, some men and women who can't run anymore," said Suzanne Bergmeister.

Bergmeister and Gwen Cooper are two members of the newest charity program in the miniMarathon and Marathon. It's called Run With Our Heroes, raising money to help treat veterans through Seven Counties Services.

"Eighty percent of our soldiers that come home do fine, but 20 percent don't do so well. Of those 20 percent, 40 percent come back with post traumatic stress issues," said Cooper.

Cooper's father, father-in-law, brother and son are in the military. Suzanne, her son and her father are too.

"When you feel like you're about to become really tired or you find you're hurting or blistered, you think, I'm doing this not just for me. I'm not just running this for a personal record. I'm running this for some other people," said Bergmeister.

"There are a lot of vets that are homeless, don't self identify as a vet, that's one of the things we want to do is find them, get them help and services they need and get on the road to recovery," said Cooper.

Since 2005, 31 different approved charities have raised more than $1.5 million by fundraising in the Kentucky Derby Festival Mini and Marathon. Contributions to Run With Our Heroes may be made through their Facebook page.

You can Run With Our Heroes with WAVE 3 News Anchor John Boel, during the 2014 Kentucky Derby Festival miniMarathon, Saturday, April 19.

To join the team, click here. Donate to Run With Our Heroes, click here.

For more information about Seven Counties and the services they provide our heroes, click here. 

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