Monday, September 13, 2010

VT Remembers 10k

This past Saturday I had the honor of participating in one of the most meaningful races/events in the state. The Vermont Remembers 10krun/walk/ruck march raises money and awareness for the Vermont Fallen Heroes Memorial at Camp Johnson, Headquarters for the Vermont Army and Air National Guards. This year was the 4th year of the event, but the first time I was able to participate.
My sister invited me to come along, and how could I refuse? Z had a football game in Pembroke, NH, so I missed that. Can't be in two places at the same time, though.
Some of you may be wondering what the "ruck march" part is all about. Here's the skinny; you have to do the 10k with a pack, minimum of 35 pounds. The packs were weighed at the start AND at the finish, and if your finish weight was less than 35 pounds, you were ineligible for prizes in that category. My little sister's pack finished out at 37 pounds. Here she is at the start. We hung out toward the back for the entire event. Think: "No One gets left behind."
That's her on the far right, looking back toward the camera.
After the dirt road leading out the 'back gate' of Camp Johnson, the rest was all on pavement. We hugged the shoulder all the way. The course was marked with cones, and at regular intervals there were Army Medics waiting to help anyone who needed it. Water was available along the course. Soldiers were at all intersections, as well as side roads to help control traffic and prevent accidents. We acted as sweepers, and made sure that everyone crossed the finish line. It was one of the best 1:54 10k's I have ever walked. Oh. I also pushed her son and our son in our stroller. Here they are, each earning (sharing) their first race bib!
Our nephew Carson(1) on our left, our son Bryce(4) on our right.
The kids had a great time. Carson fell asleep around mile marker 4, but B stayed awake the whole time, chatting, helping Carson, and fighting to keep the sun out of their eyes. For a looped course, we sure seemed to be facing the sun almost the entire time. Odd.....
I can't remember how fast the first runner finished, but the first person with a ruck finished in around 50 minutes. My PR for 10k is right around that, and that's wearing the bear minimum, NOT carrying 35+ pounds. Hoo-ah!
Here are some photos of the Memorial. For what it is worth, I recommend that we all seek out at least one race like this every year. Doesn't have to be for a military cause. Could be any local 'cause'. The military ones are near and dear to me, so I tend to gravitate toward them.
The plaques on either side of the statue are names of VT's Fallen Heroes

I worked closely with this Hero. He struggled with our 2mile run.
After I would finish, I would go back out on the course and pace
him in the rest of the way so that he would make the cut-off.
He 'hated' me for doing it. RIP, Kevin.
Bryce asked lots of questions. A day later, he was able to
tell his Mom exactly what I explained to him about the

Soldiers from the Revolutionary War, Vietnam, and the Gulf War look on.

It was a wonderful day. I wished that Tracey, Mike, and Zach could have been there, too. Perhaps next year, when my sister's husband is back from the 'Stans', the 8 of us can participate together. That would be Awesome. I might cry.


  1. Gene, that was a good story. Thanks for pushing Kevin and I'm sure he still appreciates it. I know I do.

  2. I am so proud of you guys.. Dad and I will join you next year befoe we head to FL. It will be triple-y awesome to have three generations of Soboleskis honoring our heros! TM

  3. Nice Job Gene and team! I like that you were the sweeper!

  4. Woooooooooow. That is pretty amazing that you were able to finish with the pack. I can't believe it!!!