Award Winner Profile

Aaron Hale - Amateur Award

Aaron Hale 2020 Amateur Award

Award: Amateur Award

Award Year: 2020

Organization: U.S. Military

Winner Sport: Marathon Running

After six years as a military Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Technician, Aaron Hale was blinded when a bomb exploded in his face in 2011 in Kandahar, Afghanistan. In the years that followed, Aaron, now living in Santa Rosa Beach,
rehabilitated himself to an extent most sighted people would envy — running marathons, climbing mountains, and even solo white water kayaking.

Then came another setback in 2015, when a rare case of bacterial meningitis cost him his hearing. During a months-long wait for cochlear implants, Aaron began to look forward to his favorite upcoming holiday, Thanksgiving. “And I started cooking,” Aaron says. “It gave me that distraction to take the focus off the pain. I had something to look forward to.”

Aaron’s handcrafted fudge proved so popular that holiday that he decided to start a business: E.O.D. Fudge (the letters standing for Extra Ordinary Delights), the name serving as a nod to the years Aaron spent as an EOD Tech in the military, and to the perfectionism with which he approaches every task. “I want to be the best at what I do,” Aaron states, “and E.O.D. Fudge to be the best fudge in the world.”

Even as he grew his fudge business, Aaron began to run again, regaining so much strength that he ran the Boston Marathon in 2017. The 39-year-old Hale finished the race in 4:35:52, an amazing accomplishment. “The gift is being here and getting to run it, being back on my feet,” Hale said smiling. Aaron’s guide Frank Fumich added, ”I slowed him down. He was fabulous out there.” Congratulations to Aaron Hale, All Sports Association 2020 Amateur Award

By D. Jeffcoat. Sources: and