Before this spring, Maj. Neil Marshall had never run more than 10 kilometres at one time.

But on Sunday, the Kanata resident, who is participating in his first-ever half-marathon at the Army Run, has a good reason to.

Marshall will be lacing up his shoes at the third annual event in memory of his cousin, Sapper Steven Marshall, who was killed by an improvised explosive device outside Kandahar last October. The Calgary resident was only 24 years old.

“He was really proud of what he was doing,” said Marshall of his cousin. “The military was really important to him.”

Steven’s death was hard on the whole family, Marshall said. “And his death really brought the risks of military service home. But at the same time, we’ve grown closer as a family through this tragedy.”

“This is about showing support for military families,” Marshall said of the run. “I think this is the least we can do to show support for families and families of the fallen.”

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