Runners Honor Fallen SEAL

San Diego running community to celebrate SEAL’s life

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    Navy SEAL Jon Tumilson, 35, died in a helicopter crash over the weekend.

    Runners will honor Navy SEAL Jon Tumilson, who passed away in the Afghanistan helicopter crash. Tumilson is one of 30 troops who lost their lives in the single deadliest day of the war in Afghanistan.

    The event will be at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 16 near Mission Bay Visitors Center.

    “JT”, as he was known, was a big part of the local running community while in San Diego. He was last based in Virginia Beach as a member of the elite commando group SEAL Team Six.

    “He was the toughest man I ever met,” Kevin Mccrary, who is helping to organize Tuesday’s run, said. “And he was also the most gentle man I ever met.”

    The event is not formal. Participants can run, walk, bike or crawl, said Mccrary. The plan is to gather at 5:30 p.m. at the “runners bathroom” located right next to the Mission Bay Visitors Center and circle Fiesta Island. Afterward, there will be a celebration at Shakespeare’s Pub in Little Italy.

    Tribute messages have poured across Social Media pages to honor Tumilson, who was from Rockford, Iowa. While he was stationed in San Diego, he became a member of the local running community and could be found training for a triathlon or just hanging out with friends.

    “He was a very big country boy with goals and a love for our way of life,” said Mccrary. "Remember his smile and attitude. He always went for it. We will miss the big man.”

    ”He was a large guy in stature and even larger in life,” said Jason Lewis. “He was an inspiration, a hero and something that every young boy wishes to grow up to be."