Bataan Memorial Death March/Marathon Team Description
The Golden Gophers Bataan Team promotes running, camaraderie, and self-improvement through weekly practices and races during the year. Cadets with all running ability levels are encouraged to participate; the goal is to improve, not necessarily to be the fastest. By promoting a spirit of self-improvement together, we hope to create an environment where Cadets can relax, have fun, and improve their running abilities.
The Bataan Memorial Death March honors World War II heroes captured in the Philippines. These Servicemen were forced to march for three days, totaling about 100 kilometers, and the few who survived the march were put into prisoner-of-war camps and suffered further hardships. The Bataan Memorial Death March is a challenging 26.2 or 15.2-mile march through the high desert terrain of White Sands Missile Range (WSMR), New Mexico. This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for many cadets as the number of survivors dwindles each year.
The Golden Gophers have a history of placing in the top tier of all competing teams, often carrying team members across the finish line. The Bataan Memorial Death March/Marathon leads Cadets through sandy trails, up and around a mountain, and through a treacherous stretch full of dunes and scorching deserts. Cadets must battle physical and mental anguish to finish one of the most challenging marathons in the country. Over 7,000 runners participate each year from around the world. The Gopher Battalion has participated in and attended this race for many years. We would continue our long-standing tradition of representing the University of Minnesota and it's crosstown schools at this fantastic event.