WASILLA - Logan Marre wanted to run a marathon.
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Not just any marathon, though. His dream was to run the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon in San Diego, Calif., with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Team in Training, an endurance-sports training program dedicated to raising money for blood cancer research.
But Logan died of leukemia before he could run that race. This summer, his brother Casey, 17, will run it instead.
"He was pretty determined to do whatever he wanted to do. Now that he doesn't have that opportunity, I wanted to do that for him," Casey Marre said.
Casey was 8 years old when Logan died in 1998. Logan was three years his senior. Since then, he says, he's known several others who have died of leukemia or some other type of blood cancer. Many were friends he had made at the Ronald McDonald House in Seattle during Logan's treatments. Some were relatives of close friends. He's running in honor of them all, he said.
In order to run with Team in Training, though, he will need to raise $4,500. The money goes to fund research for leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma. It also provides financial assistance to patients and their families.
Team in Training is the world's largest endurance-sports training program, according to its Web site. Since 1988, its volunteers and race participants have helped raise more than $660 million.
The program provides personalized training to those interested. So far, Casey is going it on his own. He's not a runner, he said. But he does play football and hockey, so he figures he's in pretty good shape.
He's been training on a semi-regular schedule since hockey ended in February, he said. He runs five to 10 miles a day four to five days a week at the Wasilla Multi-Use Sports Complex. He might start working with a trainer soon, he said.
Though Logan was athletic, he wasn't a runner either, said his mother, Kelly Marre. He wanted to be a research scientist when he grew up so he could help find a cure.
Running the marathon was just another way to help, she said.
"He wanted to do that so no other child would have to go through what he went through. He just always focused on what he could do to help someone else," she said.
Casey's decision to run the race for him, she said, makes her proud.
"It means so much to me, because I see the maturity coming through and I see the value he's placed on his brother's life," Kelly Marre said.
The marathon, to be run June 3, will challenge him more than he might realize, she said. But the sense of satisfaction at the end makes the effort worthwhile.
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