The 32nd annual Bataan Memorial Death March will be hosted virtually for the first time in event history. Marchers will be able to participate anytime between April 9 and April 18, 2021.
The decision by White Sands Missile Range to host the event virtually allows leadership to keep COVID- 19 safety the top priority for participants, volunteers, staff and community supporters. It also gives participants the flexibility to choose a date and route that works best for them, while honoring the memory of World War II heroes.
On April 9, 1942 tens of thousands of American and Filipino soldiers were surrendered to Japanese forces and were forced to march more than 60 miles in the scorching heat though the Philippine jungles. Thousands died and those who survived faced the hardships of prisoner of war camps.
The Bataan Memorial Death March is a challenging and grueling march that tests both mental and physical abilities. For the 2021 virtual experience, marchers are encouraged to choose a challenging stretch of road or trail in honor of the historical march. Marchers can choose between the full 26.2 mile marathon length or a 14.2 mile honorary distance.
The March officially kicks off on April 9, 2021, and participants may choose any day between April 9 and April 18, 2021 to complete their mileage. The March must be completed in one day. Returning marchers will find they will only need to select their distance for the 2021 March, as multiple categories are not necessary in a virtual environment. Event organizers still encourage participants to march in their own way, to include in uniform or with a "ruck" if desired and safe.
The registration fee includes a Bataan Marcher T-Shirt, Marcher Bib, Commemorative Dog Tag, and a Participation Medal. As with all virtual fitness events, the March is based on the honor system. Event organizers will not be tracking finishing times, instead focusing on the memorial aspect of the event.
More details on the opening date for registration and pricing will be announced soon via website and social media. Please follow the Bataan Memorial Death March Facebook page and www.bataanmarch.com for future announcements.