The personal importance & connection of the Race:
Our founder, John Hodel, was 7 years old at the time of Mark’s passing.
One of John’s passions in life has been riding/racing motorcycles, including racing the Baja 1000 off road race in Baja, Mexico seven times. In 2017, when John realized that the 50th anniversary of the race that year coincided within four months of the 50th anniversary of Mark’s death, the connection couldn’t be ignored.
John made the commitment to ride this race solo, all 1,150 miles, on a motorcycle to raise money for specialized wheelchairs or other personal needs for wounded veterans. Unfortunately, an accident experienced 6 weeks before the race resulted in a shattered collarbone and severely bruised ribs and required surgery. John raced anyway and was able to make it 538 miles.
On March 31, 2018, John was standing on the ground, in Vietnam, where Mark fell 50 years to the moment it happened, with the man who had been there and had been the last person to handle Mark’s remains. Powerful! John then decided to finish what he started the year before, this time healthy. So John will be racing the Ironman Pro class in the 2018 Baja 1000 in memory of Mark and raising funds in his name.
So in memory of Mark, Stand for Vets is dedicated to raising funds for our wounded veterans.