Despite storm, run to honor veteran goes on

WAVY News' Lex Gray with July 4 runners at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront. (WAVY/Lex Gray)

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – Despite Hurricane Arthur’s impact, there was a bit of a festive mood Friday morning at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront

WAVY News’ Lex Gray met a group of people determined to not let the hurricane interrupt their Independence Day plans.

Mike Johnson (Photo courtesy of Richard Mercer)
Mike Johnson (Photo courtesy of Richard Mercer)

The group braving the rainy weather told Lex Gray they were running for all the men and women who have served our country. One of the members of the group, Ryan Self, said they hold a run every Fourth of July to commemorate a close friend of theirs, 1st Lieutenant Michael Johnson. Johnson was killed in Afghanistan in 2009.

Self and Johnson’s two brothers, Steven and Dan, went to high school together.

Self said they set up a scholarship fund in his memory, and organize multiple events throughout the year.

The Fourth of July run started in 2012 with just five people. Last year, the group had 50 people participate. Anyone is free to show up and participate in the run, there is no formal organization or registration.

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