Bataan Memorial Death March
|Bataan Memorial Death March|
Battling Bastards of Bataan Logo
|Date||the last Sunday of March|
|Location||White Sands Missile Range|
|Event type||cleared path|
|Distance||Marathon and march|
The Bataan Memorial Death March is an annual commemoration of the Bataan Death March attended by many of the survivors of the march, along with thousands of supporters from around the world, held at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico. Held annually since 1990, this is a full marathon, with a 15 mi (24 km) route for those who do not wish to complete the full course. Covering paved road and sandy trails, it is regarded by Marathon Guide as one of the top 30 marathons in the U.S.
The race is open to all members of the public, though a significant portion of the participants are members of military units of the U.S. and foreign armed forces and their families. Civilians usually run in the full marathon, which is timed with awards though not certified by USA Track and Field. Several surviving Bataan prisoners usually await the competitors to congratulate them on completing the grueling march. Many injured veterans including some amputees attend to march as well.
The race continues all day, with the slowest marchers taking over 12 hours to complete the course.
In 2011, a record 6,300 marchers participated in 2011 in both the marathon and the 15.4 mi (24.8 km) course. In 2012 over 7,000 marchers competed and due to the heat and conditions 2012 became the most medicated march yet. In 2013, conditions were such that a weather advisory was put out to the 5,800 participants to reconsider running the race if they had not trained in the heat or at higher altitudes and that officials were considering altering or canceling the event.
There are two individual categories ("light" and "heavy") and one team category, and two divisions: civilian and military. In the light category, runners may wear standard distance-running apparel; in the heavy division they must carry a minimum of 35 lb (16 kg) in rucksacks or backpacks in addition to any consumables. Military entrants must wear their Army Combat Uniform (ACUs) or other service equivalent uniform.
A team must include exactly 5 people, and only finishes the race if all members finish together, on the principle that one does not leave teammates behind.
- "USA Marathons & Marathoners 2007". marathonguide.com. Retrieved May 8, 2008.
- Schurtz, Christopher, "Record Number Gather To Honor Bataan Death March", Las Cruces Sun-News, March 22, 2010, p. 1.
- Official Bataan Memorial Death March Page
- 2011 civilian results, via All Arizona Running Events
- Joe Bartels, "Thousands turn out for Bataan Memorial Death March", KOB Eyewitness News 4, March 28, 2011 Accessed March 29, 2011
- Bataan Memorial Death March Rules
- The official Bataan March website