Daren M. Hidalgo was one of my dearest friends. When someone dies, that person is always "the most wonderful person," and that statement is actually true in Daren's case. I haven't met many people as amazing and caring as he was. He was killed in action in Afghanistan in 2011; he made the ultimate sacrifice for you and I. Before he was deployed, we met for coffee. I had recently run my first marathon, and he had also recently run his first. I was upset because mine didn't go very well...it was a very hilly course, and I had to walk roughly 3 miles toward the end. Daren, on the other hand, had decided a month before his marathon that he was going to do it (I trained for about 4 months). Daren ran with a friend of his, and she started to struggle and told him to go on ahead. He finished the race, and in true Daren fashion, turned around, ran back to meet his friend, and finished the race with her. I shouldn't have been surprised, as the Hidalgos are superhuman when it comes to physical fitness, but I was. Not only was that story a perfect testament to his physical capabilities, but also his character. After Daren passed, his family established Team Daren. Team Daren competes in various races/events around the country to support the Daren M. Hidalgo Memorial Fund. The first event was the Soldier Marathon at Ft. Benning in Columbus, GA in 2011. I had sworn off marathons after my first one, but Daren knew how upset I was about my time and the fact that I had to walk a significant amount. So I decided to do one more marathon in Daren's honor. I'm proud to say that I ran the whole time and finished in less than 4 hours. Since then, I've completed 4 additional marathons, including the Boston Marathon. Now I'm ready to tackle my first 50k race. Daren has inspired me to accomplish things I never thought possible. Part of why I run is to keep Daren's legacy alive. I will be representing Team Daren this October during the North Face Enurance Challenge Wisconsin 50k. Money donated will go to Fisher House Wisconsin, one of the charities the Daren M. Hidalgo Memorial Fund gives to. If you are able, please consider donating. It's one of the many ways we can keep Daren's memory alive.