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Who we are running for - Blue Star Service Dogs (https://www.bluestarservicedogs.org/) and Bay Veterans Foundation (https://www.bayveterans.org/)
When and where - 21May2022, 09.00 for the 5k, 09.45 for the longer-k, Veterans Memorial Park (John F Kennedy Drive, Bay City, MI)
Cost - $10 for the run events (do one or both; we're casual) without the shirt; $30 for the run events with the shirt or the shorts; $45 for the run events with both the shorts and the shirt - PT gear!
What you get - dog tag that will be personalized, the option to add a wicked cool shirt or shorts or both, some exercise, and, most importantly, the satisfaction of supporting two groups designed to help veterans. If you do not want another chain to go with your medal (ex. you did last year's events and you want to keep all your dogtags on one chain), let me know (email@example.com).
SPECIAL FOR THIS YEAR ONLY: the 3rd SFG(A) was chosen this year because of Bay City's fallen son served in that unit when he died. If you want to guarantee SFC Michael Cathcart's name on your dogtag, I ask for a $2 donation (the donation box shows up after the merchandise section of this sign up), of which every penny of that $2 will go towards the maintenance and upkeep of the Cathcart memorial on Marquette Ave in Bay City. I'm sure there will be matching funds along the way.
Capacity - 200, with a rolling start. Because I think it's cool to see the flag pass hands from person to person (see below). I've heard a few of the participants from last year saying the same thing. The park is also not really designed to hold a horde of people, and I don't think we will get there this year (but would love to be proven wrong); however, there is a trend analysis going on, and all groups involved would love to see that participation trend climb, making future events even more interesting. Open to runners, walkers, and ruckers.
The quick details - This race is not really designed for individual achievement; more the events are about teamwork and honouring the dead servicepeople who gave, willingly and unwillingly, to our country. However, we are not looking to squash competition entirely.
The 5k is a straight-forward, follow-the-markers kind of course with only one exception: whoever is in the lead of the pack carries the American flag. If there is a lead change, then the new leader carries the flag. To put this another way, the flag crosses the finish line first. There will be one for the male participants and one for the female participants. The standard bearer need not be the fastest and can be anyone - barely out of the cradle, one step from death's door, handicapped, civilian, vet, jock, couch potato...anyone.
The longer-k is not so straight-forward. First, the distance will be whatever we feel like making that day, but it'll be longer than a 5k and probably shorter than a 10k, maybe. This is the distance to give a little of yourself, especially to remember those vets who have committed suicide. Roughly every 1.5k - 2k, at an appropriate stopping point, you will be asked to do some sort of exercise: 22 pushups, 22 jumping jacks, run some tires like you see in football training camp videos, carry heavy stuff awkwardly, etc. As with the 5k, the leader is the standard bearer, even if there is a lead change, so the flag crosses the finish line first. This will be a little trickier since exercises are involved and teamwork can be especially helpful; DO NOT LET THE FLAG TOUCH THE GROUND. Hand it off to someone, roll up the flag on the staff and rest it across your shoulders (for pushups), do whatever you need to do to keep the flag off the ground. If someone needs help with the exercises, don't hesitate to assist. As is a common mantra, we will leave no one behind; there is no cutoff and we will remain until the last person crosses the finish.
The standard bearers (M/F for both distances) will be immortalized in a manner similar to Lord Stanley's Cup by having their name and date tacked on to the staff. The fastest people will get their due as well, beer or soda, as the age and tastes dictate.
if you are not able to run the course but would like one of these wicked cool shirts and/or shorts, you can buy them here: http://www.barcmi.com/merchandise.cfm. At least $5 of every purchase goes to BSSD and BVF; everything else goes towards the cost of the item. Buy many of them and be the envy of those who missed out.
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