Esprit De Corps Ultra


Hello everyone! Just wanted to provide you all with a quick snap shot of our amazing 177.5 mile journey. This is a condensed version of what took place because we don’t want to give away too much of the story before the book gets published (LOL!). But on Wednesday morning the opening ceremony went off without a hitch and all of the key components seemed to flow together real well. In attendance were the 5 member Marine Band from Quantico, the I&I Staff Philadelphia Color Guard, the founder of the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund (IMSFF) Mrs. Karen Guenther, guest speaker Major General Tom Jones, and guest chaplain CDR Richard Butler. All of whom were instrumental in the success of our First Annual Esprit De Corps Ultra opening ceremony. That’s right I said “Annual”! And if you think you got what it takes for next year's run then leave us a message by clicking here:CONTACT US.  Qualifications will be published soon.

After a few inspiring words from Mrs. Guenther, Team Esprit De Corps, Maj Gen Jones and the final blessing from Chaplain Butler we were ready to step off. The weather in Philly that morning was sunny but a bone chilling 40 degrees. After we said our goodbyes to friends and family we began to pound the pavement out of the city. Once on the road we were escorted by two of Philly’s finest who lead from the front and by two of the Marine Corps finest drivers who covered our six from the rear. Many thanks and much respect to Sgt David Adames for his superior driving skills! Both he and Sgt Tom Geiser ensured our safety every step of the way like guardian angels.

Throughout this entire journey we learned that the human body can do amazing things when pushed past what we normally consider to be our own predefined “limits”. There were times when the last 5 miles of every day seemed like they took forever to complete. There were times when our hamstrings felt like they were on fire and were getting ready to explode each time we stepped off from a quick break. We suffered through back, leg, knee and foot pain every waking morning, every step of the way and each night before bed. Yet, we kept at it every day and motivated each other through our enthusiasm, humor, and not to mention our IPods. This is what kept our sanity in check, our spirits high, and somewhat numbed our painful joints & muscles to help us forge ahead.

During this run our humor came from many different sources. We laughed and poked fun at each other whenever one of us became cranky as a result of being hungry, cold, tired and just plain miserable. We joked whenever someone had their IPod turned way up and began to sing or talk out loud without realizing what they were doing. Once we arrived at the Marine Barracks at 8th & I in DC we were welcomed by a small group of friends and family which was a great ending to our 4th day of travel. Because the next morning we would have to take on the final leg of our journey: the Marine Corps Marathon (MCM). 

Unlike the previous day which pelted us with rain and strong winds, the day of the MCM was sunny and in the mid 50’s. Although we thought running the MCM would be much easier than previous days, it proved to be a bit more challenging than we thought. For the first time in our running experiences we found ourselves at the back of the pack trying to keep up with the 6 hour pace group! Talk about a shot to the ego. However we understood that we weren’t out to set any world records that day but mainly just to finish this final leg of our journey together and in one piece.

All seemed to be going well until about mile 14 or so when we fell way behind the 6 hour pace group! That worried us a great deal because if we didn’t make it to the bridge by a certain time we would be pulled off the course and the previous 151.3 miles we endured over the past 4 days would have been for nothing. Defeat is definitely not in any Marine’s vocabulary and it definitely was not in our hearts & minds that day. So we sucked up the pain and mustered every last bit of “intestinal fortitude” and pushed ahead even harder. After a while our legs were on auto pilot and kept moving as if they had their own sense of purpose. While our minds were riding the emotional roller coaster between hope & hopelessness, our feet and legs seemed to have been telling us, “I don’t know what the hell you guys are doing up there but we got a job to do!” 

Then to our surprise and astonishment we miraculously caught back up to the 6 hour pace group at around mile 17!! We were cruising along and knew that the bridge would not beat us. Instead we were ready to beat the bridge! Once we made it to the bridge past mile 20 any worries about not fully completing this ultra marathon quickly came to an end. We had beaten the bridge by about 8 minutes and were glad to have followed through on the promise we made to the IMSFF about completing all 177.5 miles of this amazing journey in their honor. But before we got too excited we knew that it was not over yet. We still had a few more miles to go before we could truly claim victory. 

So once again we forged ahead and as we began to approach the finish line our team quickly lined up side by side so we that could finish just like we started: as one Team.  A sense of accomplishment washed over us like a great tidal wave as we congratulated one another on our victory and immediately claimed our finisher’s medal. This time around the finish line experience and the finishers medal held a deeper meaning for all of us as we contemplated our magnificent journey at the IMSFF tent area in Charity Village with our families. Truly one of the greatest experiences in our lives so far!  

Before we close out this blog there a few things we’d like to mention. This journey brought out some of the best in people. Some of which we never knew and all of whom we will mention on a separate “thank you” page on our website. We also learned that a good sense of humor and an awesome playlist on your IPod can be just as important as Motrin, socks, and chow.  We’d also like to ask all those who didn’t believe it was possible for us to run this many miles or accomplish our mission: Now do you believe?  To those of you who believed in us from beginning to end we say: Thank you!! And finally to those who said we are both motivated & crazy we simply state: You don’t know the half of it!

Once again thank you all, God Bless and always remember that Persistence, Determination and Perseverance will ultimately lead you to the success of your desired goals but don’t forget to bring along a good sense of humor and some tunes for the journey.

Semper IPod!

Team Esprit De Corps

“One Team of road hardened warriors! 5 glorious days! 177.5 ground pounding miles!”  OO-RAH!!! 




                         CLICK HERE TO GO DIRECTLY TO THE SITE



WOW! Only 5 more days until the big day! The past 7 months have been filled with stress, craziness, fun and pride. We lost one team member but quickly picked up another (Welcome Aboard GySgt Jimmy Shields). We trained for countless hours and saw very little of our friends and family. It was a real roller coaster ride which all of us expected it to be and wouldn’t have changed it for the world.

With this historical run quickly coming upon us we would like to take the time to say thanks to all of you who have supported us for the past 7 months and those who continue to do so today. Also, for those of you who are interested, our opening ceremony will take place at the New Hall Military Museum in Philadelphia on 22 October from 9 am -10 am. During this time we will have a color guard detail present from the Inspector Instructor Staff Philadelphia, the founder of the IMSFF Karen Guenther, guest speaker Major General Tom Jones, Chaplain Butler’s blessing & prayer, and a USMC 5 band quartet from Quantico, VA who will be playing the National Anthem, Marines Hymn, and bugler playing Taps to honor the fallen.

We hope that you all will be able to make it to the opening ceremony on the 22nd. But if not, we hope to share some of the same road with you out at the Marine Corps Marathon.


Thanks again for all of your outstanding support! We wouldn’t have been nearly as successful without YOU!


Semper Fidelis,

Team Esprit De Corps


Just wanted to keep everyone abreast of what the motivated Marines of 4th Marine Corps District, New Cumberland PA are doing. Why am I posting this here? Because you are looking at the future Cross Fit Games '09 competitors who will not only take home the gold next year but fight for a good cause as well. Under the Team Esprit De Corps name and concept of course. Well, me and Sgt O haven't exactly told the other two Jarheads shown in the picture below that they have been recruited yet. 

Anyways, last week a young "stallion" by the name of Sgt Orellana introduced us to a kick ass workout that is quickly becoming a tradition here at the District. It's called "Fight For Freedom Friday"!

This is where we either create our own ass kicking workout or pick through some of the tougher workouts that are posted on the Camp Pendleton CFT site.

This week for the "FFFF" we took on "7-Up Yours" which consisted of the following:

Seven Rounds For time of:

7 Pull-ups

7 Thrusters with 35lb barbell

7 Burpees

7 Dips

7 Sit-ups

7 Push-ups

49 Single reps of Jump Rope

This week it was Captain Jeremy Best who took home the gold and glory with an impressive finish time of 18:10!

The picture below is of our awards ceremony for Captain Best today. Right below the picture is a copy of the award that was presented to him today. 

The Marines shown in the picture below are the only ones dedicated to building their bodies the CFT way. All others are SCARED!


Semper Fidelis,

Gunny "Mad Dog" Miranda

Team Esprit De Corps

 From left to Right these "Cross Fit Hardened Warriors" are:

Sgt David Adames, Captain Jeremy Best,

GySgt Dennis Miranda, and Sgt Oscar Orellana

Fight For Freedom Friday

Fastest Time Award!


Short blog today but one that definitely is worth posting. Our sponsors truly mean a lot to our team. Over the past few months they have set us up for success every step of the way by providing us with the best in shirts, shoes, and socks. The following is a heartfelt thank you to our team from one of our sponsors: Thorlo.

Thorlo is the industry leader in performance socks and was gracious enough to donate 4 dozen pair of performance socks per team member to support our training! Yes, I said 4 DOZEN PAIR OF PERFORMANCE SOCKS PER TEAM MEMBER!!!

From all of us at Team Esprit De Corps we would like to personally thank all of our sponsors for believing in us and setting us up for success each day!

Semper Fi! TEDC

"All of us at Thorlo want to thank you and your team for the sacrifices you are making to support your wounded comrades. We can only imagine the hours of training time you all are putting in to complete this colossal mission. I have the opportunity to run in a couple of marathons, but I can't imagine 177 + miles. Your team's dedication to your fellow Marines is noteworthy and all Marines past and future will be proud of your accomplishments.

Thorlo is in the business of foot protection and we take great pride protecting the feet of our nations service members who are putting their life on the line daily to protect our freedoms and way of life. Freedoms that most Americans take for granted, but let there never be any doubt at Thorlo we know the price of those freedoms.

We are proud to be associated with heroes like you all. We thank you for your service to our great country and we thank you for your compassion for your comrades. Good Luck, and let me know if I can help.

Warmest regards,


US Army Command Sergeant Major (Ret)

Director of Military and Industrial Sales Thorlo Inc."


From 22-26 October 2008 the newly formed Team Esprit De Corps will be running in the 33rd annual Marine Corps Marathon (MCM) for the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund (IMSFF). However, we wanted to do something different. So in typical Jarhead fashion we are about to embark on something that many would consider “a little extreme”. The four of us will endure 177.5 miles of running in order to raise funds and awareness for our wounded Marines, Sailors, and their families through the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund.

Why do you ask? While there are hundreds of reasons why anyone would want to voluntarily endure several days of sweat, sacrifice and pain the one that stands out to us the most is: “taking care of our own”. That’s a phrase that has been ingrained in every Marine’s “brain housing group” since the birth of the Corps back in 1775. From the boot Private to the Commandant of the Marine Corps each Marine has a certain sense of obligation to their brothers in arms. If a fellow Leatherneck is short a few bucks until payday his brother will spot him until he gets back on his feet again. If a Devil Dog has nowhere to go for the holidays it is his brother who will invite him over for a Thanksgiving feast before allowing him to spend a 96 alone in the barracks. I can go on and on but the point being is that Marines take care of Marines. Not because the Gunny tells them to or else there will be hell to pay. It’s because Marines believe in looking out for and taking care of one another.

So, from 22-25 October, the four of us will endure 37.8 miles of running per day for four days straight. Our starting location will be none other than the site where Tun Tavern, the birthplace of the Marine Corps, once proudly stood in the city of brotherly love known as Philadelphia. We will make our way through some of the historical landmarks in the area and navigate our way safely to the MCM start point in Arlington, VA. Then on Sunday October 26th we will complete all 26.2 miles of the MCM. Yes it is a lot of miles. Of course it will be difficult. At times we may even feel that it will be nearly impossible to finish. But the small amount of pain and suffering we will endure for a short period of time is nothing compared to what these wounded warriors have gone through. Not to mention the challenges they will have to endure for the rest of their lives.

All in all, this event has definitely sparked a great amount of interest in people which has also brought out the best in all of them as well. I’m not just talking about the generous donations that have been pouring in either. I’m talking about one Marine in particular who has renewed my faith in society by demonstrating an inspirational act of unselfishness. The unsung hero that I’m referring to is a dedicated Marine that goes by the name of Freddy Hoch. Freddy is a fellow Gunnery Sergeant who works with Joe, a member of our team, and asked one day if he could make a donation to our cause. While Joe was graciously willing to accept a $10, $20, or even $25 donation Freddy was thinking more along the lines of paying for each team member's entry fee into the MCM. That’s over $400!!! ($408.70 to be exact) What an awesome act of unselfishness and generosity! We couldn’t thank Freddy enough! I mean here is one individual who before this didn’t know any of us except for Joe. Who upon hearing what we were about to attempt offered us this generous gift. It’s truly amazing and comforting to know that there are people like Freddy out there in the world. After many thanks made to him by our team Freddy’s modest response was, “Not a problem…You guys make me want to be a better runner!” Well Freddy, you make me want to be a better human being! Thanks again brother!

Freddy’s generous contribution to our cause metaphorically opened the door to the journey that we are about to embark. So as our team moves ahead toward it’s objective we look forward to the 177.5 mile historical endurance challenge we are about to face. By demonstrating to the American public the loyalty and devotion four motivated Marines have for their beloved Corps we hope to capture the essence of the Marine Corps spirit every step of the way. When all the sweat, sacrifice and pain we are about to endure over the next several months comes to an end in October we will have undoubtedly sustained the very essence of our team’s namesake: Esprit De Corps!

"Those of us who have had the privilege of serving in the Marine Corps value our experience as among the most precious of our lives. The fellowship of shared hardships and dangers in a worthy cause creates a close bond of comradeship. It is the basic reason for the cohesiveness of Marines and for the pride we have in our Corps and our loyalty to each other." -Senator Paul H. Douglas

Semper Fidelis,
Team Esprit De Corps