November 7, 2015 –
EVANSVILLE, Ind. – Army Reserve Sgt. 1st Class Ian J. Marano, from the 310th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), put the heat on for the 14th annual Norwegian Foot March at the University of Southern Indiana, Nov. 7.
The timed foot race has been hosted at the USI campus since 2001. A community event, the foot march is open to civilians and service members of all military branches. The course runs 18.6 miles (30 kilometers) and requires participants to dress in military attire, stipulating a 25-pound rucksack with frame.
For Marano, it was an honor to compete in the grueling event. The 30-kilometer trek is a traditional boot camp tradition for Norwegian soldiers that began in 1915.
“I wanted to prove I could do it, test my physical and mental endurance,” said Morano. “It was important as an American to show that we were doing something important with one of our allies, the Norwegian military.”
The race is time limited to 4.5 hours for males that are 34 years of age or below, and increases in increments for ages above 34 years of age and for competing females.
The race organizers encourage participants to pack 25 pounds of non-perishable food for donation at the end of the foot march to Lucas Place II from Evansville, Ind., a nonprofit supporting homeless veterans with transitional housing.
“From a community standpoint, I think that people from the community were very proud seeing the different aspects of the military that include Army Reserve, National Guard, people from other services, that came out to participate together in this event,” said Marano.
“It fosters a continuing partnership between the service members of different military services that competed in the foot march,” said Marano.
Competitors that complete the foot march within the allotted time limit receive a certificate and bronze bade, a silver badge for successful completion of four separate marches and a gold badge for completing eight marches.