Hundreds of active-duty military personnel and first responders from across the country gathered before dawn on April 16 in Concord, Massachusetts, to honor their fallen comrades with 26.2-mile march on historic Battle Road Trail.
As part of the Tough Ruck, a marathon-length walk to raise money for service members and families of the fallen, seven members of Team Pioneer Valley USO carried 30 to 60-pound rucksacks the full length of the course. The USO team, with six members over 50 and one 60-year-old, completed the grueling challenge in eight hours, raising $2,578 for the cause. In total, more than 600 participated and raised more than $185,000.
Tyler Huhn, a 21-year-old ROTC cadet wearing his Army uniform, crossed the finish line first at 5:19:23 and Hannah Kuegler, the first woman to finish, completed the march in 5:44:12. The Boston Athletic Association and the Boston Marathon awarded each finisher with an official Boston Marathon finisher’s medal.
“The Ruck is hard but it never comes close to the ultimate sacrifice they gave,” Army Reserve Spc. Adonis Carrasco, who hauled his 45-pound rucksack to the finish line, told the Boston Globe.