2016 W100K Rider
2011 W100K Rider
Wounded by a roadside bomb in 2007, Colonel Marc Hoffmeister has accepted that his injuries just present another set of challenges for him to overcome. Seven months into his second deployment in Iraq, an improvised explosive device hit his Humvee during a combat patrol and he lost partial use of his left arm and hand when 5 inches of his ulna nerve were severed, destroying the bones in his elbow and forearm, and inflicting a significant traumatic brain injury (TBI).
Fast-forward three years and Marc tied for the honor of National Geographic magazine's Reader's Choice Adventurer of the Year Award. Not only did he reach the summit of Mount McKinley, he and his, Gayle, wife organized a mountaineering team that included four wounded veterans to accompany him in the challenge.
"Our whole experience as a team was a microcosm of what you see in the Army with all of our wounded warriors…it takes a team to recover," he said. "It takes a team to have that bond of support, that family to carry you through the hard times and to encourage you, motivate you and get you to the top, whether that's a mountain, the top of the stairs or the first time running on new legs."
While serving in Alaska, Marc was recruited by one of his soldiers to try the Ride 2 Recovery Florida Challenge in 2009. Ride 2 Recovery enabled and inspired him to rediscover his passion on the bike.
Marc and Gayle combined their passions of mountaineering and assisting those in need, summiting Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania and organizing and leading an expedition on Cerro Aconcagua in Argentina to support the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors in their mission to enable the families of our fallen Heroes.
In 2009, Marc was the recipient of the Alaskan Governor’s Veterans Advocacy Award. In 2011, Marc joined Team 43 during the first Warrior 100 Mountain Bike Ride and continues to support President Bush’s vision of aiding his fellow wounded.
In 2015, he raced the 2015 Boston Marathon on the 8th anniversary of his injury and on his ‘Alive’ day, representing the George W. Bush Institute's Military Service Initiative to empower military service veterans in partnership with the Energi Marathon Team. He rounded out his competitive year by completing his first Full Ironman Distance triathlon at the Coeur d’Alene Ironman in June and then deployed to Afghanistan 2 weeks later.
In his ‘off time’, Marc has continued to serve our nation having commanded an Airborne Engineer battalion, currently serving in US Forces-Afghanistan and preparing to assume a Brigade level command later in 2016. Without the support of his family, peers, fellow Soldiers, and incredible efforts of the many non-profit organizations dedicated to the recovery of our wounded warriors, Marc knows he would never have been able to overcome his injuries and continue to serve in the defense of our Nation.
His personal goal is to pay it forward and continue to assist and motivate those who’ve served and sacrificed, be they veterans or family members. "With our expedition on Denali, we wanted to spread the word, to share our stories and inspire other guys who are where we were a year, two years ago wondering 'I don't have an arm, what am I going to do with my life? It's over.' Well, no, the story is not over." That expedition was the first wounded warrior expedition to attempt a major summit. Since its completion, numerous organizations have followed his lead and taken our wounded warriors to new heights and incredible summits.
Related Articles and Resources
Invisible Wounds: Marc Hoffmeister on Making the Invisible Visible
These issues are not debilitating to me, they are a part of me and the experience has shaped me into who I am today.