The Blossom Run draws runners from all over the country. Now a group of soldiers on duty in the Middle East, unable to make it to the start line in front of the Popcorn Shop are organizing their own Shadow Race on the desert sands of an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia.

Fifteen runners from SOCCENT FWD (Special Operations Command Central-Forward) including one British Chaplain will run in their own Blossom Time Run that will begin at 4 A.M. Ohio time on May 26, just as the 2,300 runners are gathering at the start line in Downtown Chagrin Falls. Due to the time change, that will be 6am start time for the Cleveland area.

We were able to send these American heroes their “2013 shirts,” said Jim Smith, race co- chair for the Blossom Time Run. “It is incredible what they are doing serving our country overseas and even more amazing that they will ‘run’ with our 2,300 plus runners. We can’t wait to see their times posted alongside ours.”

The Shadow race on the other side of the world will be more than your typical run around an Air Base. The course will begin at the base gym and continue one full time around the perimeter of the base, and then continue to a desert 2.4 mile trek through deep sand. The only thing missing from the Shadow race will be all of the noise and fanfare that will be sweet music to the runner’s ears as they cross the finish line on 9/11 Boulevard. “We will just be taking some pictures really fast,” said First Sergeant Dennis Gossard, the senior enlisted non commissioned officer organizing the Shadow Race. “Everybody still has to work that day and will be pressed for time. We are thankful for the Blossom Time run organizers to include us in this opportunity to share in the ability to complete this wonderful race.