2023 Bataan Light Team
2023 Bataan Heavy Team
2023 Bataan Coed Team
2023 Bataan Heavy Team
2023 Bataan Light Team
2023 Bataan Coed Team

About the Gopher Battalion ROTC Bataan Death March Team

Bataan Logo

Building Fitness and Carrying on a Legacy

The Golden Gopher’s Bataan Death March Team builds physical fitness, endurance, resiliency, and comradery by training for the Bataan Memorial Death March Marathon. The Golden Gopher Battalion typically sends two 5-man teams of runners to compete in the event each year at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico. This race is one of the most challenging marathons in the country. The grueling high-desert course features thousands of feet of elevation change, rough trails, and brutal sand pits. Gopher Battalion cadets train hard each year in preparation for the race. Historically, the Golden Gopher Battalion has been highly competitive at this event, including finishing first overall in the light team category in 2023.

This event is not just a challenging marathon. The Bataan Memorial Death March honors American and Filipino service members who endured a forced death march through the Bataan peninsula in the Philippines and imprisonment in Japanese prison camps during WWII. Starting on April 9th, 1942, these servicemen were compelled to march for three days, totaling about 65 miles, deprived of food, water, and medical attention. The few who survived the March were put into prisoner-of-war camps and suffered further hardships. Approximately 10,000 men died during the Bataan Death March.

How do you become a member of the elite Bataan Death March Team?

The Bataan Team hosts tryouts at the end of every fall semester. If you think you are up to the challenge, the tryout consists of a 10-mile time trial. The competition teams will be built based on the time trial results, individual running experience, and race history. The minimum standards for males and females to train with the Bataan team are as follows:                        

Male minimum standards:  Female minimum standards:
10-mile run: 80:00 minutes  10-mile run: 90:00 minutes
ACFT:  500  ACFT: 500
Passing HT/WT    Passing HT/WT

Cadets must remain in good academic standing throughout the training and execution of the event.  

Training and Competitions

The team practices every Monday through Saturday during the semester, usually in the morning from 6:00 AM to 7:45 AM during the week and from 8:00 AM to 11:00 AM on Saturdays. The event is at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico each year on the second or third weekend of March. The teams stay in El Paso, TX, before and after the race, where they can explore Ft. Bliss and interact with active-duty units.