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Greg Price completes 712-mile virtual run

At 12:45 p.m. Tuesday, September 14, 2021, Trojan Greg Price completed a 712-mile run.

For those who know Greg Price, that might be simply, ho-hum.

Price is a seasoned marathon runner, a half-marathoner, a 5K runner and a casual, daily jogger. Sometimes he even walks.

So, when he learned of the World War II Challenge to benefit the National World War II Museum in New Orleans, he didn’t hesitate to enter. The museum tells the story of the American Experience in the war that changed the world – why it was fought, how it was won, and what it means.

One hundred percent of the donations to the run and part of the registration proceeds were designated in support of the National WWII Museum and its mission, Price said. The museum gives future generations reason to better appreciate the real stories of WWII heroes, their struggles and sacrifices.

“The National WWII Museum is amazing in the documentation of World War II,” Price said. “I have visited the museum several times and, too, I like New Orleans. So, I was in.”

Last year the National WWII Museum and the Allstate Sugar Bowl Crescent City Classic launched the new virtual event, the 2020 Liberty Road Challenge. This year, a new course – Operation Pacific Theater was added. All four challenges, Operation Liberty Road (100 miles or 712 miles) and Operation Pacific Theater (72 miles or 717 miles), could be completed individually or on a team. 

The virtual event is run at home locations, individually or with others, and over a set length of time. The runners can walk, jog, run, bike or use a treadmill to complete the course.

“I chose the Operation Liberty Road 712-mile course because I liked the challenge of the distance over time,” Price said. “Ten miles a day for 73 days would get me there with a few miles to spare.”

Even though 10 miles a day was more than his usual daily runs of six miles, Price didn’t have to train for the 712-mile run. He had no problem with 10 miles a day.

“The Operation Liberty Road course honored D-Day and the 712-mile route our Allied forces marched to achieve the Liberation of France in the summer of 1944,” Price said. “I had from Independence Day to October 10 to complete the virtual Operation Liberty Road course from Sainte-Mere-Eglise in the Normandy region of France to Basstogne, Belgium. I was proud to have this unique opportunity to honor our WWII veterans.”

Price chose a downtown Troy course for a total of 712 miles in 73 days. He found that, day-to-day, the cityscape remained much the same.      

“I probably did more jogging than running,” Price said, laughing. “There were a few days that the Alabama humidity shortened my run. I had planned to run 730 miles but I came up a little short, but I completed 712 miles, which was the length of Operation Liberty Road and more.”

Price said participating in the World War II Challenge encouraged and motivated him to know more about World War II and the men and women who answered the call.

“I enjoyed emailed historical antidotes and learned more by watching documentaries about the battles and those who fought them,” Price said. “I now have a greater understanding of the magnitude of World War II and a deeper appreciation for those involved and the honor given them at the National World War II Museum in New Orleans. It was an honor for me to be a part of raising funds to keep their memories alive and their stories told.”