Soldier honored for 'shadow marathon' in Iraq

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BOSTON (AP) - Lt. Col. Rodney Freeman is being honored by the Boston Athletic Association with its Patriots Award for his work in establishing a "shadow marathon" at his military base in Iraq.

Freeman was planning to run in the Boston Marathon in 2005, but his unit was sent to Iraq. He decided to run the race anyway. He and a few friends planned to put a cooler of water on a Humvee so they could make a 26.2 mile run at their base. But the event kept growing.

About 350 people ran that first year on a course that took them past the ancient Ziggurat of Ur. It was so big that Freeman was too busy organizing to actually run.

The BAA sent over medals for all of the finishers, and a banner to hang over the start and finish line.

More than 3,000 people have run in shadow Boston marathons in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Freeman says it's a little piece of home for them.