The idea behind the Semper Fi 5K was born in Armenia in 2008.  The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan dominated the headlines and the statistics and stories of sacrifice each day were sobering.The Marines posted to the US Embassy where I was serving at the time shared their own stories of combat tours and their friends who had been injured or killed. US Marines were suffering a heavy toll and countless American families were being changed forever.

Like so many Americans, I asked myself how I could make a difference.  After a little research online I found the Semper Fi Fund and learned about the amazing support they were providing to our wounded warriors and their families.  So I talked to my friend Dave (the MSG Gunny at post) about pulling together an endurance event to raise money for the Semper Fi Fund and support the many injured Marines returning home.  This led to two annual Olympic distance triathlons at Lake Sevan in 2008 and 2009.  Each became a whole of Embassy event (along with a great deal of support from local Armenians) where we raised more than $25,000 for the Semper Fi Fund. 

After returning to the U.S. in 2009, I realized that our triathlons in Armenia were just the beginning of a long standing friendship with the Semper Fi Fund.  I also quickly determined that the logistical challenges of setting up a triathlon in DC would be significant so I had to think in a new direction.  This is how the 1st Annual Semper Fi 5K at Hains Point in October 2010 came to life.  More than 350 people registered this first year and we raised over $15,000. To date we have collected nearly $400,000 in donations for the Semper Fi Fund and our wounded warriors.

With 100% of our proceeds going to the Semper Fi Fund, our volunteer-driven event shows that a community of patriotic runners and walkers really can make a difference.

Thank you for being a part of our story.


Zach Burstein
Event Director