/ Published February 19, 2007
The 18th Annual Bataan Memorial Death March will take place at White Sands Missile Range on March 25. On April 9, 1942, tens of thousands of American and Filipino Soldiers were surrendered to Japanese forces.
They were marched for days in the scorching heat through the Philippine jungles. Thousands died, survivors faced years of hardship or death in prisoner-of-war camps and still others were wounded or killed when unmarked enemy ships transporting prisoners of war to Japan were sunk by U.S. air and naval forces.
By walking miles and miles through the desert, each participant pays tribute to the soldiers who suffered one of the most infamous episodes of World War II. The Bataan Memorial March offers a 26.2-mile course and a 15.2-mile course. Both courses take participants through sandy trails and washes as well as over paved roads.
The longer course, which has been called one of the toughest marathons in the United States, includes an elevation increase from 4,100 to 5,300 feet. There are both team and individual categories and numerous age divisions. Additionally, participants may choose to go ?heavy,? which means carrying a 35-pound rucksack the duration of course. Awards are given to the first and second place finishers in each division.
The cost to register is $50 for individuals and $200 for a team. Mail in registration postmark deadline is no later than March 11. Online registration closes at midnight MST on March 18. There are additional fees for late registration. For more information or to request a mail-in registration form, call 505-678-1256 or go to the Web site at www.bataanmarch.com. (Courtesy photo)