Injured Marine to help Mustangs raise money

Published 9:23 am Friday, August 24, 2012

FRANKLIN—A retired Marine and Purple Heart recipient will participate in the Franklin Mustang 10K/5K and 1-mile walk fundraiser on Saturday, Sept. 21.

Mustang 10K/5K and 1-Mile Walk organizer Jane Riddick-Fries poses with retired Marine Cpl. Manny Jimenez. A Purple Heart reciepient, Jimenez will participate in the fundraiser on Saturday, Sept. 21, in Franklin. -- Dale Liesch | Tidewater News

Cpl. Manny Jimenez, 23, lost his left arm, hearing in his left ear and partial sight in his left eye after being hit with an explosive device while in Afghanistan in August 2010.

One year later, Jimenez, who spent two years receiving therapy for his injuries, made a goal to participate in a triathlon, which includes swimming, running and biking.

“By November I was competing in running events,” said Jimenez, who spoke during this week’s during Mustang’s football and cheerleading camp. “I wasn’t 100 percent, but in my mind I was. I didn’t want the injury to slow me down. I didn’t want to think about it and what I couldn’t do.”

Hope For The Warriors helped him get back into sports. In addition to helping his mother financially, the non-profit provided him with a specialized bike to train.

He competed in a triathlon in Santa Cruz, Calif., in August 2011 and has competed in six or seven since, winning one and placing second twice.

The Connecticut native got involved with the Mustang fundraiser because he is friends with event organizer Jane Riddick-Fries.

“A few months ago she e-mailed me and wanted to help raise funds for the Mustangs to help them focus on football and not the financial aspect,” Jimenez said. “I thought it was awesome and I tagged along on it.”

The proceeds from the run will be used to buy shoulder pads, helmets and guardian caps, which help prevent concussions, Riddick-Fries said.

The run begins with registration at 7 a.m. at the Franklin Farmers’ Market with the 10K starting at 8, the 5K starting at 8:15 and a 1-mile walk at 8:30.

Medals will be given out for the top three runners in each male and female division, ranging from ages 13 to 65 and over. Medals for participation also will be given during a ceremony where Jimenez will be the speaker.

The fee for the 10K run is $25 for adults and $20 for children and includes a T-shirt. Fees for the 5K are $20 for adults and $15 for children; the 1-mile walk is $5 for all ages.

To register, call Rob Carter at 569-8415, or Riddick-Fries at 653-9118.