Are you ready for the third annual ruck march Saturday to help veterans and fill food banks?

• Half-marathon added on Stateline Road

Wear your patriotic or camo garb and walking or running shoes or boots; bring your American flag, bottles of water and a backpack full of non-perishable food. Join the third annual Memorial Stateline Ruck March along Stateline Road just south of Kiowa, Kansas, that connects with Highway 8. Stateline Road goes west to Hardtner, Kansas, for 11 miles.

The event starts bright and early Saturday. Organizer Pake McNally said he'll be set up at Kiowa's Community Building at 5th and Main Street at 6 a.m. Registration for the ruck march starts by 7 a.m., and people will proceed south to Stateline Road.

For all you half-marathon runners, don't get excited that this will be an official race this first year. McNally of Hardtner said they are just starting the race this year. There will be no prizes or rules. Finishers get a free t-shirt. He'll have signs denoting the half-marathon distance alongside the road.

Bicycles are allowed this year. If people get tired there will be vehicles to pick them up, McNally said.

He recommends walkers and runners fill their bags with 20 pounds of non-perishable goods. The donations will be divided equally between the north and south food banks in Barber County. Regarding the donated food items, no expired food will be accepted.

Some of the monetary donations go to the American Legion Post 175 and Sons of the American Legion at Hardtner. Early finishers will enjoy brunch items. Then, grilled brats and hot dogs will be served. People who didn't participate in the ruck march are welcome to come and eat, and make a donation of canned foods or money. Bring a lawn chair and visit. T-shirts are available to purchase.

“I want everyone to enjoy the ruck march and see it grow each year,” McNally said.

He plans to add more attractions to the event next year.

“I know 11 miles sounds intimidating, but it's an extra challenge for folks,” he said. “It should be a good time.”

 

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