Kubiak runs for veterans again

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Texans head coach Gary Kubiak smiles with a military veteran at the 2007 Impact A Hero 5k run.

For the second consecutive year, Texans head coach Gary Kubiak will participate in the annual Impact A Hero 5k Run for seriously wounded and disabled veterans of the War on Terror. Kubiak has discussed the event with his team in recent weeks, encouraging players and coaches to join him on the 7:30 a.m. run on Saturday, May 31, at Mercer Stadium in Sugar Land.

Kim Phillips, Kubiak's executive assistant, serves on the planning committee for the event and invited Kubiak to run last year. In addition to taking part in the race, Kubiak signed autographs and mingled with wounded veterans last May.

"I got a lot out of it personally, just to see all those kids that have served our country and the price that they've paid for our country," Kubiak said. "To go out there and spend some time with them, I really, really enjoyed it."

Kubiak has a strong sense of the importance of honoring the sacrifices made by individuals in the armed services. His nephew, Michael, is stationed in Georgia in the midst of serving three tours of duty in Iraq with the U.S. Army.

{QUOTE}"I think a lot of times in life, there's people that call athletes heroes and people that are involved in sports their heroes," Kubiak said. "But, man, I tell you what, if you're around those kids (in the military) for a few minutes, if they're not your heroes, something's wrong. We're going to try to get more guys involved this year, get a few players, a few more coaches, and hopefully the event continues to grow and it's successful for all those guys."

As for the 3.1-mile run itself? Far from a daunting task, even after what will be a long week of OTA practices for Kubiak in the Houston heat at the Methodist Training Center.

"That's actually something good for me to do just over the weekend," he said. "It gives me a little exercise, so I'm looking forward to it."

In a message on the 2008 Impact A Hero 5k Run/Walk/Wheel Race website, chairman Larry Boyd expressed gratitude for Kubiak's participation.

"We are thrilled to announce the return of Coach Kubiak from the Houston Texans, and that he is asking the Texans players to attend and support the 5K," Boyd said. "While we don't know exactly who will attend, we do know that Coach is making it a personal priority, and is stressing Impact A Hero to the team."

More than 750 people participated in the 5k last year, a total which Impact A Hero hopes to double this time around. Registration is available on-site on the day of the event starting at 6 a.m. A wheelchair race begins at 7:25 a.m., followed by the 5k and a 1k kids' walk at 8:30 a.m.

Find out more about Impact a Hero and register ahead of time by visiting the organization's website here.

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