Discipline. Leadership. Order.
It’s those qualities that attracted Shawn Hardiman of Foxboro, to the Marines initially. And it’s what he’s gained after spending five weeks this summer in Officer Candidates School with the Marine Corps in Quantico, Virginia.
“It was a lot of fun. I learned a lot about myself in terms of being a leader, about time management, and how that transfers into real life situations,” Shawn said of the experience. “I always knew I wanted to serve my country at some point. …I was really enthralled with everything that the Marines stood for with discipline, order, and their overall ethos and the qualities it instills in terms of being a leader and being disciplined. I learned a lot from being there.”
This Sunday, Shawn will take those lessons and apply them to his first-ever Falmouth Road Race. The 20-year-old will be joined by his girlfriend Elizabeth Hurley, who will also experience the thrill of running her first road race.
The couple, who will be entering their junior year at the University of Rhode Island this fall, are excited for all that this weekend will offer and for the chance to give back to a cause like Heroes In Transition.
Both Shawn’s father, Shawn Hardiman Sr., and grandfather, Brian Hardiman Sr., served in the Air Force while Elizabeth’s father, John Hurley, served in the Marines. “We both read the story about Heroes In Transition and it sounded like the perfect organization to run for,” said Elizabeth, who is studying nursing and hopes to one day work in pediatric oncology.
Shawn helped convince Elizabeth, who is living in Falmouth this summer, to run this year’s race together. “He asked me to do it and I thought it would be cool because I just moved here,” she said. “I work here [at The Cape Club] and everyone at work told me how big of a deal this race was.”
While the event will test them mentally and physically, they are most excited about the impact they are making together by running with Team HIT. “Supporting veterans has always had a special place in my heart,” Shawn said. “I love supporting great causes and helping others. When I heard about the race and being able to support a foundation which assists the military at a time when I’m now involved in military life, it was perfect to combine the two for such a great cause.”