Bataan Death March Marathon

Team Never Quit,
Hope y’all are doing well! I just wanted start by saying thank ya’ll for your service and thank you for the Team Never Quit podcast. I am a second lieutenant currently stationed at Schofield Barracks Hawaii serving as a field artillery officer. However, I grew up and come from the promised land of Dallas Texas. My career has just begun and I listen to this podcast every week on my way to work. I live down in Ewa beach so its about a 30 min drive, I start the podcast in the morning and finish it after work.
My never quit story is from a few years ago when I competed in my first Bataan Death March Marathon . It’s a full 26.2 mile marathon that honors and is in memory of those who experienced the actual Bataan death march during World War II. There are a handful of different divisions you can compete in but I was entering into the ROTC heavy division. This section runs with a full 35lb ruck and in boots and uniform. I had just joined the ROTC in January and had no idea what a ruck sack even was. They had try outs at my university and workouts in the mornings for months prior to train for this race. However, I didn’t find this out until just before March when the marathon was. I asked if I could compete in the race and my instructor said if I finished the 13 miler in under 3 hours and 30 min that I could get a spot. I made the cut and about two weeks later was in the race. The 13 miler was the furthest I had ever run in my entire life. I was so eager to prove myself in front of all of these senior military leaders and my peers. Now for those of you who don’t know, this marathon is just outside of Las Cruces New Mexico at White Sands Missile range and is on probably the worst terrain possible for a marathon. You pretty much run up a mountain and back. I told myself if I’m in the top 25 that I would be extremely satisfied. The race started and I booked it for a long as I could and as hard as I could. About mile 18 is when I started feeling every muscle in my body shut down and told myself now, as long as I finish this race with a pulse Ill be satisfied. It felt like I had two massive solid rocks in my calves, my back felt like it was about to break, blisters on my feet and I had 8.2 miles to go. I would look about 100 meters in front of me and kept telling myself, just get to this next telephone pole or next checkpoint. The salt on my skin was burning and it felt as though I was never going to be able to finish this race. I kept thinking of how all of these other people around me are going through the exact same pain and if I am ever going to be able to be successful in life, I have to be able to embrace the suck when it hurts and push through it. I worked through the pain and came out on top. I ended up finishing the race with a time of 5 hours and 54 minutes earning 7th place out of 135 participants in my division. The next two years I ran the race, I ran with a team and then individual as my last year and got 6th place. This race means a lot to me and I will participate and compete any time I am able to. It taught me that you can do anything and everything with a positive mindset and hard work and that overcoming trials is what life is all about.
Also, I just wanted to say thank you for this podcast. It motivates me everyday to get up, grind and smack any negativity in the face. Y’all freagg’n rock! My wife and I are having a daughter any day now and I’m thankful for these stories that give me the incentive and drive I need to never quit. I am going to Ranger school this fall and selection as soon as I am eligible. I’ll get back to y’all when I’ve gone through the suck fest and come out on top. Have a good one and God bless!

Author: Trent