All American Marathon remains tradition for local military family

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FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- Every year hundreds of runners pound the pavement in hopes of being first to cross the finish line at the All American Marathon.

Kirsten Speer's daughter, Marliese, runs in honor of those who came first.

"She went ahead and did it and did it in memory of her great uncle," said Speer.

Marleise Moody started running the All American Half Marathon in 2016. The 13-mile course is challenging both physically and emotionally.

"It's just an overwhelming experience to see how many lives have been sacrificed for us," said Marleise Moody.

Featuring the faces of the fallen, the blue mile inspired Moody to go the extra mile, bringing her two cousins from Virginia and Louisiana with her.

Navy wife, Samantha Alb, and former sailor Theresa Hubbard will run with her for the third year in a row.

"I can't even explain it. On the sidelines the family who doesn't run we all kind of watch from the sidelines and go with them throughout the race," said Speer.

And like years past, the cousins, or 'half-sisters" will take to the blue mile for a run to remember.

"They just kinda say each one of their names as they're going by. They take a little extra time around the blue mile. They don't care about race times," said Speer.

Samantha does though.

"She smoked us last year, so we're coming for her this year," said Moody.

So while most families start traditions to leave a legacy, this family does it in memory of one.

"You can see how proud my dad is and how thankful. Just that his memory is still alive in our younger generation," said Speer.

The All American Marathon is Sunday. It starts in Downtown Fayetteville and ends at Fort Bragg.
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