• #BestGiftEver: Retired Marine receives New Balance footwear and apparel

#BestGiftEver: Military Veteran Finds New Life Pushing Himself to the Limit

By: Christine Dailey
Posted on November 24, 2014

After 20 years in the Marine Corps, five deployments and two combat-related tours in Iraq, Lonnie Martin found himself referred into medical retirement. Struggles with PTSD, depression and other issues had left him directionless, but after completing his first obstacle endurance race in January 2014, his life was changed forever. Martin quickly followed that first race up with 11 more, plus five half-marathons. “I didn’t want to get out of bed,” says Lonnie today. “Running and physical competition has given me the gift of life again.

“In the Marines, they teach us that asking for help is a sign of weakness so it took me about a year to realize I actually needed it,” continues Martin. “I hit rock bottom and after going through medical retirement I was completely broken. Being a marine was my identity, so with that part of my life gone I didn’t know what to do anymore.”

Martin signed up for his first sprint obstacle race while searching online for a 5k to run. “It kicked my butt,” Lonnie says. “I told myself I’d never do another one of those again, but it turns out I was hooked because three weeks later I did another one. I have this thing where I won’t quit. I won’t allow myself to. No matter how hard it is.” By the end of this calendar year, Martin will have completed an astounding 15 endurance obstacle races, five half-marathons and one full marathon. Next year, he already has 16 races on his calendar and is actively searching for more.

“I like challenging my body and my mind,” says Lonnie. “The best gift ever is defeating those challenges.” Touched by Lonnie’s story and inspired by his ambitious goals, we sent him some gifts to help him reach new limits, defeat new challenges and fuel his endurance training in 2015. If outfitting him in brand new apparel and getting him into some of our top-of-the-line racing footwear can play some small part in his achievements, we couldn’t be happier. For Lonnie, we're hoping that the tools to fuel his achievements are the best gift ever this holiday season.

Pictured below from left to right is the 870v3 for stability running, 4090 neutral cushioning for training and the 910 for stability trail running. This array should help Lonnie compete in any challenge he faces this coming year.

#BestGiftEver: Ex-Marine Receives New Balance MT910, 4090, 870


"Competing in races makes me more confident, I feel alive again," - Lonnie Martin (pictured below)

#BestGiftEver: Ex-Marine Receives New Balance MT910, 4090, 870

#BestGiftEver: Ex-Marine Receives New Balance MT910, 4090, 870 in Hawaii

#BestGiftEver: Ex-Marine Receives New Balance MT910, 4090, 870 in Hawaii


best gift ever