Ruck Run supports veterans and food pantry

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[November 08, 2016]  LINCOLN - Though a might chilly at 45 degrees and with light fog on Saturday morning, conditions were perfect for strenuous outdoor activity. And, Kickapoo Creek Park was the perfectly beautiful place to do it.

It wouldn't take long for weight laden walkers, runners and a couple of rollers participating in the second annual Ruck Run to work up a sweat for two great causes: to provide for veterans in need and for the hungry of Logan County.

Jamie and Chris Beard of REPS Gym coordinated the Ruck Run with the help of family, friends, and veterans. Sponsors included Lincoln ApexNetwork Physical Therapy and CEFCU, and other Lincoln businesses.

Participants parked across from the park and were trucked over to the mid-park pavilion military style on an open, high flatbed where they would sign-in, their ruck sack goods were weighed and they received their official race t-shirts.

Once all the participants had arrived, the group gathered at the start/finish line at the flag pole for a brief pre-race ceremony. Chris Beard thanked everyone including the veterans who were there, many of whom had assisted in organizing the event.

Beard said the funds raised would be made available to assist the 2,000 plus veterans living in Logan County and would be used in their time of need. He said he had worked with Lincoln VFW Commander Michelle Ramlow and the money raised would go to the Post 1756, Relief Fund.

Beard recalled as a veteran himself that soldiers go through training that includes filling their 'ruck' backpacks with weight to build strength and endurance. This run simulates that exercise.

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This year's packs were filled with 2,500 pounds of pantry goods. That is more than a ton of food that would be donated to local food pantries. And, $2,615 was raised for the veterans.

An electric guitar solo of the Star Spangled Banner brought salutes and hands over hearts attention which was then followed by prayer.

Beard thanked everyone for coming out and encouraged all to have a safe run or walk.

There were a large number of participants that came from Bloomington. Two wheelchair participants used the roadway around the park, with two laps making 5K. Those who were running or walking followed grass paths and fitness trail through the park.

[Jan Youngquist]

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