Meet Team HOPE’s Athlete of the Month, Nekita Hunter

The Six Star Finisher Medal stands as the pinnacle achievement for marathon enthusiasts worldwide. This prestigious accolade isn’t just about completing six major marathons—it symbolizes the endurance, discipline, and unwavering dedication of those who earn it.
Joining the ranks of the “Big Six” club isn’t for the faint-hearted.

Six Star Finisher Medal

With iconic races in NYC, Boston, Chicago, Berlin, Tokyo, and London, the challenge demands relentless determination and grit. So far, only 11,000 have been able to cross all those finish lines. On April 21, Nekita “Niki” Hunter will add her name to that exclusive list, and that’s just one reason why she is Team HOPE’s Athlete of the Month for February.

Niki’s journey isn’t just about ticking off marathon boxes; it’s a testament to her indomitable spirit and unwavering resolve. In a remarkable display of perseverance, she’s set to achieve this monumental feat in just one year—an accomplishment that typically spans seven for most runners. It’s a goal that many aspire to, but few achieve—a testament to Niki’s extraordinary determination.

If you check out the video, you’ll see that Niki is not one to back down from a challenge. You’ll also see that she is a ball of positivity with an infectious laugh and magnetic energy. As Jenna McDonald, HOPE’s Director of Sports and Recreation, Health and Wellness, attests, Niki’s impact goes far beyond her athletic achievements. “She is friendly to all, and always looks out for her fellow veterans. She spreads HOPE wherever she goes.”

Niki has participated in four events with Team HOPE over the last year. With her speed, she could easily run in the earlier “waves” with the quickest runners, but she doesn’t. She instead goes stride-for-stride with a teammate, ensuring they cross the finish line too. “I’ll never leave anyone behind,” she says. For Niki, it’s not just about the finish line—it’s about the journey and the bonds forged along the way. In December, she pounded the pavement with fellow veteran Dontralisa Jones as she accomplished her goal of finishing her first Half Marathon. Throughout the 13.1-mile journey, Niki helped Dontralisa keep her pace and her energy up with water and snacks. “If she [Dontralisa] puts her mind to it, she can do anything,” Niki said. “I was so proud of her.”

Niki simply wants to see others succeed. It’s in her DNA. “I like helping other people,” she says. “We all served in different branches, but at the end of the day, we wore the uniform. We’re family regardless of what uniform you wore.”

Team Hope For The Warriors (Team HOPE) provides athletes of all abilities the opportunity to compete at various endurance events throughout the year.

Warrior Team members are provided race support, goal-setting opportunities, and social engagement to ensure they all feel the camaraderie, belonging, and connection of being part of a team.

All Warrior Team participants must connect to services with Hope For The Warriors before being added to the program.