The "Clemson 8" Challenge

Clemson or at your own location, South Carolina

Clemson or at your own location, South Carolina

Tue 9th April 2024 - Sat 20th April 2024

6 races

Organiser's Description

The Clemson 8 Bataan Death March Challenge Walk/Run/Bike/Hike/Swim/Ski
The Clemson 8 Bataan Death March Challenge is open to the general public. We are hosting an in-person race at 10:00 am on Sat., April 20, 2024, along with a virtual race from April 9-20, 2024.  You can complete your own walk, run, bike, hike, swim, or ski in Clemson, S.C. or on your own course - in your own town.  And, you can complete it in one day or throughout the sixteen-day period. Your participant packet consists of 100% COTTON Comfort Colors t-shirt or tank top, bib number, wooden nickel, and window decal. There will be no prize money awarded to the top finishers at the in-person event.
100% of the proceeds will benefit the Clemson University Military Affiliated students via an endowment to send a group of these military students to compete in the annual Bataan Memorial Death March Race at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico.
The first three Challenges raised $77,493.84. Thank you very much. The 2024 goal is to complete the $100,000 endowment by raising $22,506.16.  Dividends from the endowment will assist in paying for six students to complete in New Mexico every year.
Donations can be made on-line during your registration or if you want a tax deduction, please contact Amy Craft at the Clemson University Foundation M-F from 8:00 am - 4:30 pm EST at 864-656-1240, acsernaclemson.edu or mail a check to:  Clemson University Foundation, Attn:  Amy Craft, P.O. Box 1889, Clemson, SC 29633  On the for line, write: Bataan Endowment.
Direct online link: https://iamatiger.clemson.edu/giving/giving-to-clemson?id=9ed46b59-6d7e-4b16-88c6-961984a7efe0
If you would like to become a Race Sponsor, contact John Seketa at johnseketagmail.com or 864-903-1487 for more information.
The first 500 entrants are guaranteed a 100% cotton race shirt, bib number, wooden nickel, and window decal.
On April 9, 1942, six Clemson alumni became prisoners of war with tens of thousands of their brothers-in-arms when American troops who had been fighting in the Philippine theater of WWII were ordered to surrender to the Japanese. They were marched North some 70 miles by their ruthless captors in what would come to be known as the Bataan Death March, one of the most notorious war crimes in history.  Seven other alumni were also captured on neighboring islands during World War II.  
Already weak and starving from months of intense fighting and illness, the POWs’ were herded with other sick, wounded and starving soldiers through the searing heat of the Philippine jungles. Thousands died. Those who survived the march then had to survive for years in the inhumane and brutal conditions of Japanese prisoner-of-war camps, and the sinking by our own Navy of unmarked prison ships trying to steal the POW’s away to the mainland towards the end of the war. It is impossible to know the exact number, but it is estimated at least 57 percent of the captured Americans did not survive the war – more than 11,500 souls — which is considered a very conservative number by most experts.
Colonel Skardon, 104,was the last living member of this illustrious group. He was well known as the only survivor of the real Bataan Death March who walked in the annual Bataan Memorial Death March (BMDM) at White Sands Missile Range, N.M., one of the toughest and most popular “ultramarathons” in the world. The event has become a pilgrimage for veterans, active-duty military members, supporters, the few remaining survivors, and family members of the men who perished in the march and POW camps.
Colonel Skardon had walked in the BMDM 12 times, most often a distance of 8.5 miles, beginning in 2007 when he was 89. In 2019, at 101, he walked more than three miles through the desert to honor his brothers-in-arms who did not return from the war. He considers it his duty. He was on his way to walk again in 2021 when the event was canceled due to the pandemic.  In response, the Clemson 8 Challenge was created by a team of students, veterans, alumni and friends so Colonel Skardon could continue his pilgrimage from his home in Clemson.  The 8 represents the annual miles that Colonel Skardon walked each year to honor those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country in one of the most brutal wartime events in history.
On Thurs., Nov. 11, 2021 (Veterans Day), Colonel Skardon was awarded with a star in a private ceremony and a rank of Honorary Brigadier General. On Mon., Nov. 15., 2021, General Skardon passed away.
After registering for the Clemson 8 Challenge, everyone is encouraged to continue their training and participate in the 2024 in-person or virtual edition of the 35th Annual Bataan Memorial Death March at https://bataanmarch.com/
For more information on those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country from Clemson AM College and Clemson University, visit the Clemson University Scroll of Honor website: https://soh.alumni.clemson.edu/
Here is a list of 24 known Clemson alumni and 1 former student who were a P.O.W. - 
World War II
Army Air Force Captain Theodore Cuyler Bigger ’34, York County, S.C. - Captured by the Japanese and survived the Bataan Death March.Army 1LT Martin Crook, Jr. ’39, Spartanburg, S.C. - Captured by the Japanese and survived the Bataan Death March.
https://soh.alumni.clemson.edu/scroll/martin-crook-jr/ 
Army Captain William R. English ’37, Columbia, S.C. - Captured by the Japanese on Cebu Island.
https://soh.alumni.clemson.edu/scroll/william-robins-english/ 
Army Major Albert M. George ’36, Aiken, S.C. - Captured by the Japanese on the island of Mindanao.Army Colonel Louis D. Hutson ’13, Aiken, S.C. - Captured by the Japanese after being wounded on Bataan.Army Captain Marion R. “Manny” Lawton ’40, Garnett, S.C. - Captured by the Japanese and survived the Bataan Death March.Army Captain Henry D. Leitner ’37, Greenwood, S.C. - Captured by the Japanese and survived the Bataan Death March.
https://soh.alumni.clemson.edu/scroll/henry-daniel-leitner/
Army 1LT Otis F. Morgan ’38, Laurens, S.C. - Captured by the Japanese on the island of Corregidor.
https://soh.alumni.clemson.edu/scroll/otis-foster-morgan/
Army Lt. Colonel William Allen Orr ’38, Anderson, S.C. - Captured by the Japanese and survived the Bataan Death March.Marine Captain Wesley McCoy Platt 35, Summerville, S.C. - Captured by the Japanese on Wake Island.
https://soh.alumni.clemson.edu/scroll/wesley-mccoy-platt/
Army Air Force Captain Francis Herbert Scarborough ’39, Bishopville, S.C. - Captured by the Japanese on the island of Corregidor.
https://soh.alumni.clemson.edu/scroll/francis-herbert-scarborough/
Army Captain Beverly N. “Ben” Skardon ’38, Walterboro, S.C. - Captured by the Japanese and survived the Bataan Death March.Army 1LT Howard Monroe Vassey ’40, Chesnee, S.C. - Captured by the Japanese on the island of Corregidor.
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Army 2LT George Albert Henry 45, Spartanburg, S.C. - Captured by the Germans during the Battle of the Bulge. Army Staff Sgt. George W. Jones, Loris, S.C. - Attended classes in 1941.  Captured by the Germans.Army PFC Joseph Lawrence King 47, Clemson, S.C. - Captured by the Germans during the Battle of Orscholz.Army Corporal Horace Gordon Meisner, Jr. 46, Savannah, Ga. - Captured by the Germans in the Ardennes.
https://soh.alumni.clemson.edu/scroll/horace-gordon-meisner-jr/ 
Army Air Force Captain William Henry Mooney, Jr. ’41, Hawkinsville, Ga. - Captured by the Germans when his P-51 was shot down near Fulda, Germany.
https://soh.alumni.clemson.edu/scroll-of-honor/search/?hname=mooneyconflict=noneyr=noneservice=none  
Army Air Force 2LT Lewis Anderson Page, Jr. 45, Columbia, SC - Captured by the Germans when his B-17 was shot down.Army Colonel Albert Ward Smarr ’50, Hickory Grove, S.C. - Captured by the Germans when as a B-17 gunner and radio operator his plane was shot down over Berlin.
https://soh.alumni.clemson.edu/scroll/albert-ward-smarr-jr/ 

Korean War
Air Force Major Malcom Brodie Edens ’47, Pickens, S.C. - Died while Missing in Action.
https://soh.alumni.clemson.edu/scroll/malcolm-brodie-edens/ 
Army 1Lt. William H. Funchess 48, Orangeburg County, S.C. - Captured by the Chinese Communist Army.
Vietnam War
Air Force Captain William Renwick Austin II 59, Simpsonville, S.C. - Captured by the North Vietnamese.Navy Lt. Commander Robert Fant, 57, Anderson, S.C. - Captured by the North Vietnamese.Air Force 1Lt. Samuel R. Vaughan 67, St. George, S.C. - Captured by the North Vietnamese.
 
SUBMIT RESULTS
To submit results for the virtual challenge, simply follow these steps:

Click the results tab on the Clemson 8 home page

Click “Submit Virtual Results”
Results can ONLY be submitted from March 11th through March 18th.

Search for your profile using either your name or email address

You can check your progress and the progress of others from the results page

Races

  • 800 Meter Kids Run/Walk/Stroll

    Sat 20th April 2024

  • 8 K or 8 Mile - Race Day - General Public

    Sat 20th April 2024

  • 8 K or 8 Mile - Race Day - College Students & Younger

    Sat 20th April 2024

  • 8 Mile - Race Day - 5 Member College ROTC Ruck Team

    Sat 20th April 2024

  • 8 Mile Relay Virtual Challenge - High School JROTC/P.E. Class

  • 8, 14.2 & 26.2 Mile - Virtual - General Public

Book

  • 800 Meter Kids Run/Walk/Stroll

    Sat 20th April 2024

  • 8 K or 8 Mile - Race Day - General Public

    Sat 20th April 2024

  • 8 K or 8 Mile - Race Day - College Students & Younger

    Sat 20th April 2024

  • 8 Mile - Race Day - 5 Member College ROTC Ruck Team

    Sat 20th April 2024

  • 8 Mile Relay Virtual Challenge - High School JROTC/P.E. Class

  • 8, 14.2 & 26.2 Mile - Virtual - General Public

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