News 12 chats with Seaside Semper Five race’s defending champ

Posted: Updated:
(News 12 New Jersey) Dianne DeOlivera (News 12 New Jersey) Dianne DeOlivera
SEASIDE HEIGHTS -

Saturday marks the emotional return of the Seaside Semper Five Marine Corps Charity 5K race in Seaside Heights. Ahead of the occasion, News 12 New Jersey’s Kurt Siegelin‏ caught up with the defending champion.

CLICK HERE for more details about this weekend's race

In 2014 and 2015, Dianne DeOlivera was the first woman over the finish line, but a three-peat was put on hold.

Last year’s Semper Five charity race was canceled when a bomb went off in a trash can on the course. DeOlivera grew up in Toms River and lives in Brick Township. She said the attack hit too close to home.

“When you see what happened, the events of the day, it puts everything into perspective and just makes you appreciate things more,” DeOlivera said.

The Semper Five benefits the MARSOC Foundation, which provides support to Marine Raiders, the U.S. Marine Corps’ elite unit of special operation forces.

DeOlivera said the fact that a race benefiting heroes who need help was targeted was the toughest for her to comprehend.

“To see what they do every day – what the MARSOC Foundation does – not knowing if a bomb is going to go off,” she said. “Honestly, it doesn't matter if I win or not.  It's just the cause. Just to be able to be there and show support."  

The race begins at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday. Siegelin will be emceeing the event.

Are you participating in the race? Let us know on social media by using #SeasideSemperFive.

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