Joe Forgey had not run any marathons in 30 years.
That changed after the Noblesville resident decided to watch his daughter, Jordan Huffman, run in the Marine Corps Marathon when her Marine husband was not able to go.
“I thought, ‘He’s gone, I’ll go to Camp Lejeune, N.C. and run her up to Washington, D.C.,” Forgey said. “When the Wounded Warrior group came by and there were those with legs missing, a guy came by with one arm, no legs on a unicycle-type thing. I’m 65, and I looked down at my two feet and thought, ‘You have no reason not to do this. He has one arm. You have two good legs.’ When she finished, I said, ‘If you do this next year, I’ll do it with you.’”
Now 74. the retired dentist will run in his eighth Marine Corps Marathon Oct. 30 in Washington, D.C.
Jordan and her husband, Aaron Huffman, now live in Noblesville. Aaron is a major in the U.S. Marine Corps and is in the Reserves now.
Forgey, a Noblesville school board member who is seeking reelection, has run the OneAmerican 500 Festival Mini-Marathon in Indianapolis about 35 times.
Forgey’s grandson, Alec Moor, is a junior on the Noblesville High School cross country team. Alec’s mother, Jill, and Forgey’s other daughter ran cross country at NHS and Butler University. Forgey has been training by running half-marathons and running with family members.
“We’re a running family,” Forgey said.
Forgey, whose wife Cynthia died of ovarian cancer in 2011, said four of his five children have run the Marine Corps Marathon with him. This time, he will run with Jordan and Aaron.
The Marine Corps also has meaning to Forgey for another reason.
“My Uncle Max (Long), a physician, landed Day 1 on Iwo Jima with the 4th Marine division during World War II and received the Navy Cross,” Forgey said. “He saw the actual flag raising (on Mount Suribachi on Iwo Jima) and lived to tell me the story. As we always finish at the base of the Iwo Jima Memorial, I have gratitude for men like Uncle Max and the Greatest Generation.”
Forgey said running has always been a good outlet for a lot of his energy.
Forgey, a 1970 Butler University graduate, was reared on a farm in Carroll County.
Although Forgey ran track and cross country at Carroll (Flora) High School, he said basketball was his favorite and main sport.
“My father was not happy about that because you pick corn in the fall and you plant corn in the spring,” Forgey said. “We could all play basketball because the corn is in the crib. It was always a contentious point about doing that.”