Marines Helping Heroes 5k Challenge

Sat September 11 - Sat October 2 Hanover, MD 21076 US Directions
Marines Helping Heroes 5k Challenge - All are welcome!
Race Website

Additional race information can be found at

7000 Arundel Mills Cir
Hanover, MD US 21076

The Marines Helping Heroes 5k Challenge is back as an in-person fundraising event, and due to the popularity of last year’s virtual event, you can once again RUN FROM HOME. This new hybrid event was created by Marines Helping Heroes Foundation and the Anne Arundel County Detachment of the MARINE CORPS LEAGUE to support our local military and veterans. Funds raised will benefit our local military, veterans, the Semper Fi & America's Fund and Treat NOW. Information regarding these two great organizations can be found at and 

Marines pride themselves on fitness and place a great emphasis on overall conditioning. This event consists of a 5K run with optional push-up and sit-up challenges. The Challenge is designed to replicate the US Marine Corps Physical Fitness Test.  

The Marines Helping Heroes Foundation is an IRS non-profit 501(c)3 charitable organization. Your donation may be tax deductible. For additional information regarding the foundation, please visit our website at 

Race Contact Info

If you have any questions about this race, click the button below.

Ask The Gunny - FAQ

Q. I am a brand new Second Lieutenant out of OCS. Can I run too?
A. Yes sir, you may. But only if your platoon sergeant clearly marks the course for you.

Q: The PFT is 3 miles. Why are we running a 5K?
A: It’s called a “Challenge” for a reason. The extra .1 mile won’t kill you and it’s for charity. 

Q. I am in the new Space Force. Won’t I have an advantage doing sit-ups and pull-ups?
A. Are you trying to trick the Gunny? Everyone knows there is no “up” in space.

Q. Instead of sit-ups or crunches, can I do a plank?
A. A plank isn’t something you DO, it’s something you walk off.

Q: Per MCO 6100.13A CH/2, the PFT now includes planks as an alternate for crunches. Can we do planks for the challenge?
A: Did you just “well the order says...” to the Gunny? Fine, get in the plank position while I think this over and hold it until I get back to you.

Q: I can do more than 115 crunches in 2 minutes, why can’t I get more than 100 points?
A: Now you’re lying to Gunny. Better check that form and count again. Video or it didn’t happen. 

Q. Do I need to complete all three events in the same day?
A. It’s a virtual event. How would I know if you did or didn’t? Now drop and give me twenty.

Q. If I don’t like my time, can I run it again?
A. See previous question. Now give me thirty.

Q: I can do more than 23 pull-ups, why can’t I get more than 100 points?
A: I ask that same question every year with no luck. Every extra pull-up will be donated in honor of Chesty Puller. I also have some friends who would love to talk to you about that... 

Q. If I sign up, but can’t complete the run by October 2nd, will I get my money back?
A. If you can’t complete 3.1 daggone miles in 22 days… 

Q. I’m in Okinawa on the other side of the date line. Will I get an allowance?
A. I’m not your father. Go see the First Sergeant. Tell him I sent you.

Q: How will you identify a winner if more than one participant scores a 300 on the PFT?
A: There is no winner, but we will post the scores. We’ll look at the overall pull-ups, crunches, and times to determine the winner, so always go for max effort.

Q. I’m in the Army, can I do a ruck march instead?
A. I don’t give a ruck. You can ruck yourself or with your battle buddies. Register as a team and see your times on the group leaderboard. (We will have a ruck division next year.)

Q: Is kipping allowed on pull-ups?
A: Not. Even. Once. Watch the dang video and start practicing. 

Q. I’m a soldier stationed in Colorado. Will the high altitude be factored in?
A. All altitude questions are being referred to the Air Force.

Q: Will scoring be adjusted for the run since it’s longer than a PFT?
A: No, but you’re encouraged to run faster. 

Q. I’m a terminal Lance. Can I sign up and not really run?
A. Aww, jeez. Get away from me. Thanks for the donation.

Q: Why are there so many more crunches required for males and females ages 26-35?
A: Beats me. Go ask the Captain.

Q: How will you verify the counts of the Challenge?
A: Marines never lie, cheat, or steal.  The Gunny will trust your integrity. However, you’re strongly encouraged to post video of you completing the Challenge and Gunny will comment back to keep you honest!

Click for an overall look at the physical fitness required of all Marines.

This video will describe the proper form and execution of the hybrid pull-up or push-up event.

This video will describe the proper form and execution of a Marine Corps crunch.

The Marine Corps High Intensity Tactical Training - PFT Prep Program is a 16 week exercise program designed to increase strength and endurance.

Simply select your gender and age then insert your run time and number of push-ups/pull-ups and crunches. Let the calculator compute your overall score.


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