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The Military’s Special Warfare Development Group Helped 600 Special Operators Run the Marathon

The Military’s Special Warfare Development Group Helped 600 Special Operators Run the Marathon

A morning run by 75 recruits turns into horror: ‘It looked like an airplane wreck’

July 31, 2011 11:31:13 AM PDT

By Mike Wise

A few months ago more than 600 youngsters began the daunting task of completing 75 miles of physical training, running eight miles of laps and completing a 200-meter swim.

They followed a program developed by a member of the military’s Special Warfare Development Group, where he is also a psychologist.


He helped to develop a rigorous training regimen designed to get the youngsters ready to fight in Afghanistan in the near future.

The military paid for the program to develop special operators and their skills for deployment to Afghanistan.

But even the best training didn’t keep the participants on track throughout the month of July.

Many were still in training mode two months after the marathon, but still had not advanced to running eight miles on the track behind the Marine base at Camp Pendleton.

“It looked like an airplane wreck that you could walk out of,” said Lance Corporal Daniel Wiederman, 15, who was in his third week of training for elite special operators.

Wiederman, from St. Louis, is the fourth of seven runners in Saturday’s race.

He and a handful of other young men were forced to abandon the training program at Camp Pendleton after their workouts suddenly disintegrated, leaving them with bad backs and a new set of injuries.

They were forced to run the last mile with a limp and a bad back, said Wiederman, who lost his ability to run for seven months after he injured his back in June.

Some of the boys were only able to finish the final two miles after they collapsed.

Wiederman, who turns 16 next month, said the problems started when he arrived for his first training run.

“First thing into the water, I had major knee pain that was very very bad for 24 hrs. I started bawling. I was in agony,” Wiederman recalled.

As he limped to the showers, a military doctor approached him and was stunned by the injuries he saw.

“He said, `Hey buddy, what’s going on here?’” Wiederman said.

The Navy

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