Bataan 2015 Logo

Participant Comments

What was the most memorable aspect of the Bataan Memorial Death March?

  • The beginning ceremony. We must continue to remember the sacrifice at Bataan.  

  • Shaking hands with survivors while approaching the start.  

  • Meeting new, great people with similar interests; wonderful location; the encouragement and congrats at the finish line was very rewarding.  

  • Being part of an event honoring the real Bataan Death March and meeting actual veterans. I have never participated in an event like this and everyone involved was so nice, supportive and encouraging.  It was also extremely well organized.  

  • The fellowship of the marchers. No one was a stranger along the route. The route was challenging and worthwhile and the water and aid stations were adequately staffed and supplied.  

  • It made me feel some of the hardships that the soldiers felt in the original but I did it by choice. They had no choice.  

  • The presentation at the theater was very inspiring. I especially liked the interviews with the survivors in the film and the woman who re-enacted the nurse perspective. The course itself was a challenge and I especially appreciated the support.  

  • The spiritual uplifting of participating to honor those who have suffered our freedom.  

  • The way the Bataan and other veterans participated in the event; the numerous activities surrounding the event such as the historical seminar, movie, meeting the Bataan veterans; the march itself.  

  • The satisfaction from crossing the finish line. The patriotic feeling from the marchers and audience.  

  • It brings home with brutal reality a small part of the sacrifice that those great service men went through.  

  • There was no competition. Everyone was friends out there and looked out for each other, even though you did not know each other.

  • Thirty-nine survivors were there! Historical seminars. Opportunity to meet veterans and listen to their stories. Well organized event. Pleasant location. Got a lot for the registration fee. Fantastic volunteer network and support for march.  

Comments from past marches ...

  •  I’ve run in a lot of marathons.  This was the toughest, especially the hill that I now refer to as Hell Hill.  The wind that we pushed into up that hill was unforgiving.  This event is not for the light of heart.  The great thing about the march is that it helps you find a sense of community right in the middle of a desert.  

  • This was by far the toughest marathon ever attempted. The support and management of this event was the best I’ve ever experienced.  The high spirited marchers and the real survivors added a motivation and patriotic pride unparalleled. Keep up the spirit and the march WSMR!  

  • I entered the Bataan Memorial Death March for the first time this year.  Even though I studied all the categories on the web site numerous times, (I read the comments, studied the course map & elevation chart, etc…) I really didn’t know what to expect … The water and aid stations were placed at the right locations, the volunteers were cheerful & encouraging, the food was great, the massage tent was unbelievable, and the other runners/marchers offered each other encouragement.  The mere presence of the Bataan Death March survivors was almost overwhelming. I was on the verge of tears during the opening ceremony. Then seeing them again later in the race gave me an extra boost of energy.  The display of Patriotism by everybody was awesome.  

  • Sunday morning was unforgettable, with the sun coming up, the flags waving, and surrounded by 3000+ people who are proud to be Americans and not ashamed to show it.  People who knew just how important it is to say “thank you” – by action not just words.  The most touching part was at the very start when one of the Survivors stood in the middle of the road, shook MY hand and said thank you to me!  The course is fabulous. The “sand pit” was everything it was cracked up to be … Thanks for one of the best races I’ve ever participated in.  

  • I participated in and finished the Bataan Memorial Death March for the very first time this year.  I will be doing again.  It was one of the most challenging things I have ever done.  I do climb fourteeners (mountains above 14,000 feet) in Colorado every summer and this was a true challenge…  

  • This was the first time I've ever attempted anything like the Bataan March.  I thoroughly enjoyed was rough, don't get me wrong (I thought I would never get to the top of the biggest hill), but it gave me a sense of accomplishment, and of pride that I finished the course.  Meeting the original March's survivors was a very humbling experience.  They truly are awe-inspiring men.  Standing before them, I really did not know how to thank them for their sacrifices, and for their courage in facing a merciless enemy.  While I was shaking the hands of the survivors at the start/finish line, one of them looked at me and simply said "Thank You for being here".  I have no words to express the emotion I felt at that moment.  I will remember that for the rest of my life.  

  • The hardest thing I've ever had to do, never have I had to reach deep inside my mind to accomplish something.  

  • This year was my first march.  It was a wonderful experience, but I have to say I've never been so broken and so uplifted all at the same time.  Thanks so much for a memorable weekend.  

  • I truly believe that the march route was laid out by the devil himself.  I don't mind increases in elevation, I've seen that before, but the absolutely horrendous deep sand was more than I had ever expected, and I thought I was pretty much acquainted with what to expect … I won't be back, but I want to thank you for a really self-fulfilling experience.  I hope you keep this event going forever.  The men truly deserve to be honored.  

  • The event was unforgettable, but compared to the original survivors, I accomplished nothing...  

  • This was my first Bataan March and by mile 8, I knew I was going to be back next year.  Truly awesome experience.  

  • This was the first marathon I have ever done.  I came from Chicago to run and haven't regretted the trip at all.  The course provided a true test of strength, endurance and determination.  The sand pit at mile 21 was excruciating.  On the bright side the workers at all the water stops were very friendly and nice to see every 2 miles or so along the way.  Being a civilian participant it was very rewarding to be cheered on by soldiers along the way and to do the same in return.  It was especially rewarding to cross the finish line and shake the hands of a few survivors.  The event had a purpose, to keep the memories alive of the men that suffered through the actual event in history and it definitely did that in the minds of all of us who participated.  

  • I don’t think I have ever in my life dug that that deep and pushed my self that hard. Being a participant this time instead of a spectator really instilled a sense of pride in what I did and what I now know I can accomplish.  The whole experience mile by mile was extremely humbling. Being wished luck by the Bataan Survivors and being cheered on by the volunteers. There were several times I cried a bit because I was so overwhelmed by everyone’s support.  

  • Thank you for a most memorable marathon experience!  Despite being in marathon shape, and coming from altitude (I live and train between 6500-7000 ft), it was clearly the most grueling event I have endured.  I can’t imagine running that coming up from sea level.  After finishing the first 14 miles (uphill, into the wind), I felt very strong, but the long downhill took almost as much out of my legs as the uphill.  Thus, the sand pit uphill, into the wind (you need to mention that wind coming off the mountains on the website!), just blew me away.  Awesome event, fully challenging every aspect of the racer: mental and physical.  

  • I have done some other events of this type.  I have done events in Europe with the Finish Army and some 100 mile events also.  The course earned my respect.  This was the best organized event I have been involved with.  It was truly an honor to be part of this event.  I can't say thank you enough to the surviving veteran of the original Death March.  Those men are true heroes.  I look forward to doing this event again next year.  

  • The 2005 March was my first Memorial March.  I was absolutely impressed with the administration of the entire event.  The concern for the comfort, aid and safety of the marchers was outstanding.  I was humbled to be in the presence of the Bataan survivors.  Thank you for a remarkable and memorable experience.

  • This was the toughest race that I have ever done....PERIOD!!  As far as the staff and the whole event WSMR did a fantastic job.  It made it easier for us participants to just concentrate on the grueling event ahead.  The only thing I didn't like was the SAND!  It truly made me appreciate what those Bataan heroes had to go through.  Thanks again.

  • This was my 36th marathon.  Although it was by far the toughest, it was also far and away the most rewarding.  I know that the race was only yesterday, but is it too soon to register for next year’s race?