The Army Marathon announced its second annual race will be March 2, complemented with a half marathon and a 5k run.

The marathon, is expected to draw thousands of runners, with a course starting in Killeen and ending in Temple, following a 26.2-mile course through Central Texas. March 2 was chosen for the race to commemorate Texas Independence Day.

“The Army Marathon was created to honor our military folks and their families, and especially to help raise money and awareness for the many organizations who serve these heroes,” said Ed Bandas, president of the marathon.

The organization includes a volunteer advisory council led by retired Lt. Gen. Don Jones and retired Lt. Gen. Dave Palmer to help direct the event’s charitable contributions.

Proceeds from the event will be contributed to qualified charities that benefit active duty soldiers, veterans, military families and survivors.

“I am extremely pleased that the first Army Marathon is being run in Central Texas,” Jones said. “With pending budget cuts we must find the resources required to provide needed services to the men and women that have and are continuing to serve this nation in uniform.”

The inaugural Army Marathon, which took place on April 21, had more than 900 runners. The 2014 event will be capped at 1,000 for the marathon, 2,000 for the half marathon, and 1,000 for the 5k.

“Although these seem like lofty goals for a second year event, the number one comment we received asked us to create a half marathon so more people could participate,” Ed Bandas said. “We want to respond to this and the other great suggestions to make it a premier event not only for Texas but for the patriotic and charitable running community all around the country.”

The marathon is presented by Garlyn Shelton Automobile Dealerships in Central Texas and produced in partnership with Scott & White Healthcare, the event’s exclusive medical sponsor.

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