COLUMBUS, Ohio, April 2, 2015 – Combat-wounded U.S. Army veterans AJ Arnett and Vince Corona will be running the Indiana Trail 100 on April 25-26to raise money for VETMotorsports, a non-profit, non-clinical outreach program that provides injured warfighters with unique, hands-on motorsports experiences.
The Indiana Trail 100 is Indiana’s only 100-mile trail race. The race is run on a 16.67-mile loop through Chain O' Lakes State Park in Albion, Ind., on a mixture of wide and narrow trails, including hills, dirt and grass sections. A field of 360 runners is slated to compete in this year’s race, which is part of the 2015 Midwest Grand Slam of Ultrarunning.
Corona and Arnett both took up ultrarunning as a new challenge and a personal form of therapy after their tours of duty. Arnett served in the 3rd Infantry Division and was deployed in Sadr City, Iraq. Corona served in the 82nd Airborne for five years, deploying twice to Iraq and Afghanistan, where he was wounded in 2007.
“For Vince, this is his second hundo,” said Arnett. “For me, it’s my first. But both of us wanted to use the event as a way to give something back to a group that helps veterans like us. We had the chance to work with VETMotorsports last year and were blown away by all the good they’re doing for the OIF/OEF combat-wounded.”
"I've never considered myself a ‘gear head' or a car guy,” said Corona, “but I knew that when I had the opportunity to, as AJ put it, ‘Go drive cars really fast at the Coliseum parking lot,’ that I shouldn't pass it up. The SCCA event we were able to participate in was a great experience. Attending a VETMotorsports fundraising event in Columbus and seeing a video that fellow veteran Andrew Chung created, really brought the organization’s mission into perspective. Peter and the VETMotorsports team are a great group and we’re proud to help their cause."
In addition to beginning their training for the trail race, the pair started Crowdrise (https://www.crowdrise.com/100milesforVETMotorsports) and Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/VinceandAJrun100miles?fref=photo) pages to raise money for their effort, with a goal of $5,000. The two also will be hosting an event (https://www.facebook.com/events/937349702975009/) at Deer Park Irish Pub in Fort Wayne, Ind., on Saturday, April 4 at 3:00 p.m. as a final fundraising push before the 100. The event will include live and silent auctions, celebrity bartenders, and more.
“We hope that our efforts will not only raise funds, but also help educate the public and fellow wounded OIF/OEF veterans about VETMotorsports," Corona added.
“AJ and Vince are perfect examples of the kinds of men and women our outreach program aims to help,” said VETMotorsports Founder and Executive Director Peter Cline. “We couldn’t be prouder to have them as VETMotorsports alumni and of the efforts they’ve made to take on new challenges in their lives and give back to their fellow veterans.”
"AJ and Vince are long-time friends and supporters of the Indiana Trail 100 and the feeling is mutual,” said Indiana Trail 100 Race Director Mike Pfefferkorn. “We salute both of them with their fundraising efforts for VETMotorsports and we'll put them in the best position to succeed with their goals."
Founded in 2012, Veteran Empowerment Through Motorsports (VETMotorsports) is 501(c)(3)-status nonprofit organization that honors and empowers injured warfighters through active participation in motorsports. The award-winning, non-clinical outreach program embeds qualifying warfighters with amateur and professional racing teams to provide them with unique motorsports experiences. By placing veterans in hands-on, high-stress, team environments that mimic active duty, the organization gives them direction, empowerment and challenges that help them focus on ability and moving forward rather than disability and the past. To date VETMotorsports has helped more than 65 veterans participate in 35 motorcycle and auto racing events across the United States. To learn more about VETMotorsports, participate in the program, or make a donation, visit www.VETMotorsports.org.
About Deer Park Irish Pub
Deer Park Irish Pub has been voted the best bar in the city of Fort Wayne by the readers’ of Fort Wayne Magazine. According to owner and “Publican” Tony Henry, "It is the place to bring your dear for a damn good beer. Finding your favorite pub is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. It’s very much like finding your soul mate. For crying out loud, this is the place where you will spend a large portion of your life each week – it should be special. People should know you by name, and of all the places you can spend your hard-earned money, your pub should be one of your favorite investments. Deer Park Irish Pub gives that experience to our customers. We call it ‘the human factor,’ and we strive to never forget it.”