This is a rigorous and demanding event. It is much more difficult
than a “typical” run/walk marathon event of similar distance due to
the terrain, elevation, and dry/dusty weather conditions. You must
be in good health to participate. Every year many participants
sustain avoidable life threatening injuries because they
underestimate the physical demands of this event. The Bataan
Medical team recommends all participants
consult their individual
physician to educate themselves about medical issues and risks
relating to this event. Only a physician, who is familiar with your
personal medical history, your current health, your medications, and
your specific medical condition and risk factors, can advise you as
to whether you are fit to participate safely and the precautions and
preparations you should take.
illnesses are a significant threat. Heat-related illnesses occur
when the body is unable to properly cool itself. The body normally
cools itself by sweating. However, under some conditions sweating is
not enough. In these cases, a person's body temperature rises
rapidly. Very high body temperatures may damage the brain or other
vital organs and result in death.
Individuals at increased risk for heat related illnesses are those
with poor fitness (unable to run 2 miles in less than 16 minutes),
overweight, and age greater that 40.
Before the race
consider that additional individual factors that prevent safe and
successful participation in the event are drinking alcoholic
beverages within the last 24 hours, lack of recent quality sleep,
recent illness (even minor), and taking over the counter or
prescription medications known as decongestants or antihistamines
within 72 hours of the event. These factors greatly contribute to
the participant’s risk of heat injury. If you develop any of these
issues you should not participate.
During the race
if you experience any of the symptoms
of impending heat illness such as headache, muscle cramps, weakness,
heat sensation on the upper body, lightheadedness, confusion,
blurred vision, shortness of breath, nausea, or vomiting stop and
seek medical assistance.
The responsibilities of every participant:
Consult your physician.
Fill out the Emergency Information
and Medical History on your bib.
Listen to the weather forecast. Know
the risks and plan accordingly when running during hot conditions.
Heat-related illnesses are life threatening conditions. Adjust your
march and hydration plan accordingly.
Develop and implement your individual
plan for hydration. Be prepared to adjust your plan given the
weather conditions and how you are feeling during the event.
If you experience or feel you are
about to experience a medical problem, ask for help immediately. It
is foolish and dangerous to proceed despite warning symptoms.
6. Help your fellow participants.
Drink plenty of
liquids - DRINK BOTH WATER AND SPORTS DRINKS.
not drink only water. Both water and sports drink are
available at the water points. If you march and sweat for a long
time and drink only water, you can dilute your body's electrolytes,
which can lead to weakness, nausea and confusion. Remember, by
the time you are thirsty, it's too late!
For more information on
preventing heat injury, visit the
U.S. Army Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine
Listen to your body! See a medic if you are not feeling
Listen to your feet!
Take care of hot spots before they turn into nasty blisters.
At White Sands' elevation, sunburn can occur within 10-to-15
Watch your step. Beware
of rough terrain.
respectful of wildlife along the route. You may see
critters ranging from those native to the area, such as rabbits and
snakes, to the exotic oryx - an African antelope which was imported
to New Mexico. White Sands Missile Range has been a site for
defense testing, to include various munitions, for more than 50
years. Do not touch, pick up or kick anything along the
route. Report anything suspicious to missile range
Click here to watch the White Sand unexploded ordnance safety video.
If you see a marcher who needs aid, help
them. Report injured or ill marchers to race officials.
There are 12
water points along the route - make sure you drink plenty of
liquids. The greatest danger to marchers is dehydration because
of the dry desert climate. DO NOT drink alcoholic
beverages the night prior to the march.
you to alternate between water and sports drink that will be
available at water points.
called hyponatremia can be induced by over hydration with water
exclusively. This lowers sodium levels in the bloodstream
and can lead to seizure and convulsion activity. Marchers
can avoid this condition by taking sports drinks containing
essential electrolytes such as potassium, chloride, and
step. Be aware of loose rocks, drop-offs, and
rattlesnakes. The route crosses many arroyos, which are
intermittent streambeds. In the event of heavy rains, do
not attempt to cross the arroyos. Also be aware of
“smaller” problems such as tarantulas, scorpions and bees.
If you are allergic to bee stings, carry your bee sting kit with
A small flashlight is suggested for early morning and also if
you are on the route later in the evening to deter local
wildlife that may be out.
becomes injured should remain on the route until medical
attention arrives from the nearest water point to avoid further
injury. Anyone who witnesses an unsafe act or an injured
marcher will immediately report the situation to the nearest
water point or roving patrol.
about 25 percent of marchers become casualties during the Bataan
Memorial Death March. Over half of these casualties are
foot or ankle injuries. Therefore, conditioning your feet
for the march should be an essential part of your training.
Wear quality footwear and ensure that they are thoroughly broken
in before the day of the march. Build your mileage
gradually over a period of three to six months, depending on
your current level of conditioning, to strengthen your feet and
ankles and toughen the skin on your feet. You should build
to walking at least 15 miles during your train up. People
who train by walking four or five miles a day and then try to
march 26.2 miles across the desert are the first to become
feet clean and dry throughout the march will help avoid
blisters. Change sweaty socks during the march and
consider using a quality foot powder or even antiperspirant on
your feet to help control sweating. Above all, don't try
anything new (e.g., new shoes, new type of socks, new insoles or
flexible orthotics) on the day of the march. If you have
not trained with it, do not use it.
training, common sense and proactive hydration will help ensure
that your participation in the Bataan Memorial Death March is a
safe and memorable experience."