Saturday’s third annual 1st Lieutenant Jared M. Landaker Memorial Run for Freedom drew over 300 participants, to honor 1999 Big Bear High School graduate Landaker and six other crew members on a U.S. Marine Corps CH46 medivac helicopter, who were shot down in Iraq in 2007. The September 26 run hosted by the Seven Stars Foundation celebrated freedom, with the theme “Without Freedom There Are No Choices,” and, as Landaker’s mom Laura tells KBHR, “Each year gets a little more uplifting, thanks to this community and everyone who’s supported us.” This year’s event, which included a 5K, 10K, 15K, and one-mile fun run, was special in that Landaker’s cousins and extended family participated, as did countless Marines from Camp Pendleton, and many of Landaker’s BBHS classmates, in town for their 10-year reunion, including Josh Bulrice, Jay Alvarado, Megan Conroy, Jennifer (Jensen) Malin, Tiana Holiday, Shannon (Meagher) Meketarian, Kasey Hall, Jesse Huskey (who placed third in the 5K for his age group), Luke Wagner (who placed third in the 10K for his age group), Patricia (Halamicek) Courtney and Kristen (Sandstrom) Ferreira (who took first and second in the 10K for their group), and Mitch Fieri (placing second in his group for the 15K). Overall winners in the Memorial Run were Victorville’s Kimberly Smith, with the fastest 15K time at 1:10:03 and a third consecutive victory, and Rowland Boateng of New York with the top men’s time in the 15K; top 10K runners were Adam Milsap of Florida, with a time of 51 minutes, and 50-year-old Victoria Eckler of Big Bear City; and, top honors in the 5K, a 17:26 finish for Nathaniel Wisel of Camp Pendleton, and first for Reyna Pinedo, a 15-year-old from Lucerne Valley. Proceeds from the 1st Lieutenant Jared M. Landaker Memorial Run for Freedom, coupled with a $4,100 donation from Camp Pendleton from their August poker tournament for Seven Stars, will benefit wounded military and graduating seniors of Big Bear High School.
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- Vietnam Memorial of 1969 to Move to Veterans Park; 1st Lt. Jared Landaker Memorial Run Next Saturday