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Long Island

Glen Cove runner braves cold in bid to aid vets, families

Eva Casale, front, runs along Ridge Road

Eva Casale, front, runs along Ridge Road in Ridge on Saturday, April 2, 2016. Casale is running 7 marathons in 7 days to raise funds and awareness for Hope for the Warriors. Photo Credit: James Carbone

A Glen Cove woman ran through flurries, strong winds and chilly temperatures in the second day of her quest to run a total of 184 miles in seven days, to raise funds for veterans and their families.

Long distance runner Eva Casale, 50, has logged more than 52 miles and said she was in good condition following Sunday’s 26.2-mile run through Huntington, Commack, Greenlawn, Centerport, Northport and East Northport.

“When I do struggle, I think about who I run for and what they’ve been through, what our current servicemen and women go through and it’s nothing like what I’m going through this week,” said Casale. “For me, it’s temporary, what I’m feeling is temporary … I know they endure so much more fighting for our freedom.”

Casale, a vice president of information technology at Suffolk Federal Credit Union, is running in the communities of Suffolk County service members who were killed in combat in Iraq or Afghanistan. On Sunday, she ran to honor six veterans from Huntington and was joined for last 7-mile leg of the run by some of their friends and family members.

“It was just an amazing experience,” Casale said. “All day people were honking and cheering and calling out … The energy from everyone else just carries me the rest of the day.”

Sunday’s run lasted a little more than seven hours, with time for about eight stops, including the homes of several veterans’ families. Casale said meeting Marine Lance Cpl. Christopher Scherer’s parents and grandmother was very emotional.

Casale’s goal is to raise $100,000 for Hope For The Warriors, a nonprofit that supports veterans, current service members and their families. As of Sunday afternoon, she said she’d raised about $30,000, and was optimistic she’d reach her fundraising goal.

On Monday, she’ll be running in Islip for eight veterans, and though the forecast predicts sopping weather, she said she’s up for the challenge.

“It’s nothing like what our veterans and servicemen have dealt with,” Casale said. “It’s just a little bit of adversity, in a way, and we just move forward.”

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