Registration

How do I register for the Chicago Veterans Ruck March?

It’s easy to register, just Click Here, and you will be directed to our registration page. Then click register and go through the prompts. You can register as an individual, join an existing team, or create a team.

Do I need to print my registration?

No, you just need to make sure you register prior to the event. On the day of the event, bring a form of identification and we will check you in, let’s save some trees!

How much does it cost to register for the walk?

We want everyone to be able to participate, so the fee is $1, which includes lunch! That’s it. We do encourage everyone to create a fundraising page and share the link with your friends and family.

Do I have to be a service member or veteran to participate?

Absolutely not! We encourage family members, community leaders, veterans, and service members to march with us. Everyone is encouraged to attend. We have to come together as a community and we recognize that our civilian counterparts are a key asset to our Veteran community.

Is there an age limit or a minimum age to participate?

There is no limit and no minimum. However, any minors must to be accompanied by a legal guadian. There is a liability waiver form that is included in the registration. If you cannot physically complete the event, there are other ways to be involved, such as becoming a volunteer at the event.

Can I register the day of?

We highly encourage you to register before the event. We will have a registration table the day of the event.  You can register Here!

I can’t participate but I want to donate. How can I make a donation?

You can make a donation on our donation page Here!

How do I volunteer?

Please click here to view our Volunteer Page

Can I bring a stroller? Can my kids join?

Yes, you can bring a stroller. We encourage families to join us. We will just ask that if minors are accompanying you, that they remain with you at all times.

Can my company do a donation match through check?

Absolutely! Write the check out to Chicago Veterans. Have them mail it out to:

Chicago Veterans
5031 W. Montrose Ave.
Chicago, IL 60641

Include in the envelope, your individual name, contact information, and “Ruck March match donation” somewhere in the letter.

Is my donation be a tax write-off?

Yes! We are a registered 501(c)3, non-for-profit. Therefore, any donations made to us can be claimed on your taxes.

Teams

2018 Biggest Team Award

There will be a special recognition for the largest team registered for the event. Stay tuned!

How do I create a team?

You can create a team by going to our event registration page and clicking “register” and then clicking “create a team”. It is easy to create the team page. Once you have done so, anyone who registers will see your team name in the drop-down menu when they click “join a team”. Register: Here!

How do I join a team?

You can join a team by clicking “register” and then “Join a team”, then search for the team name. If you can’t find it or registered as an individual, you can email us at ruckmarch@chicagovets.org and we will help you join the team you are looking for.

Can I join a team if I have registered as an individual?

If you can’t find a team or registered as an individual, and you’d like to join an existing team, you can email us at ruckmarch@chicagovets.org and we will help you join the team you are looking for.

How does the fundraising goal work as a team?

The Team Captain can set a goal. Any money donated to an individual within that group, will also reflect on the team page towards the team goal. It is quick and easy to set up.

Can I write a check and can the money be allocated towards the team?

Absolutely! Write the check out to Chicago Veterans. Have them mail it out to:

Chicago Veterans
5031 W. Montrose Ave.
Chicago, IL 60641

Include in the envelope, your individual name, team name, contact information, and “Ruck March match donation” somewhere in the letter.

Event Day

What it the event timeline?

0700: Participant Check-In begins
0830: Opening Ceremony
0900: First Wave Step Off
1030-1430: Lunch in Centennial Park in Evanston
1400-1830: End Point Activities

What is the start, lunch, and end point?

The start point is at Kalk Park: 298 Park Avenue, Glencoe, IL 60022.
Lunch is in Centennial Park: 1821 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60208.
The end point next to Lincoln Park Zoo: 1746 N. Stockton Drive, Chicago, IL 60614.

What is the parking situation?

Parking is very limited in Glencoe. We recommend taking the Metra (exit at Glencoe); visit www.metrarail.com to plan your route accordingly. We highly recommend getting dropped off if the Metra is not an option. There will be shuttle buses available from two points in the city; stay tuned for that email.

When should I arrive and what do I do when I get there?

Check-in begins at 0700 on the day of the event. Please bring a valid identification card. Also, be aware that after you check in, you will go through a bag check. They are looking for prohibited items; such as weapons and explosives. If you have any questions about what is prohibited, please send us an email at ruckmarch@chicagovets.org.

Are there water and aid stations on the course?

There are water stations with limited water supply throughout the route. There are also some convenience stores you will march by. We highly encourage you to carry water in your bag as well. There is an aid station at the halfway point with basic first aid available. There will also be two emergency vans picking up participants to bring them to the aid station throughout the route. In case of a medical emergency, please dial 911 to get immediate assistance.

Is there a Rain Date?

If it ain’t raining, we ain’t training!
No, there is not a rain date. The event will go on, despite the weather.

What should I wear?

You can wear whatever you would be comfortable wearing. Some wear their full military uniform, others wear their combat boots and trousers with a team t-shirt. We have participants that wear bike shorts and cut-off’s. It is completely up to you! There is no dress code.

Where can I find Medical Help at the Race?

If there is a life, limb, or eyesight emergency, please dial 911. Otherwise, if you need basic first aid, we will have a first aid tent available for bandages and ice packs. There will be two vans distinctly marked as evacuation vans for any participants who cannot complete the ruck march and need transportation to the first aid tent in Evanston.

Where do I find photos from the event?

The photos will be posted on our website at www.chicagovets.org about three weeks after the event.

Where can I find the route map?

The official route has not been published, but it will be similar to last year’s ruck march. Click Here to view the 2017 map.

Do I have to join a group to be able to walk? Can I walk by myself

You do not have to join a group. We guarantee that by the end of the event, you will have made some new friends.

Am I required to carry 20lbs?

The significance of the 20 pounds is a pound for each life we lose daily to equal 20 in one day. But you are not required to carry the 20lbs. Some carry more, others carry less. The importance is that you are walking with us and helping us inform the public of Vveteran issues that plague our brothers/sisters.

Am I required to complete the 20 miles?

The significance of the 20 miles is a mile for each life we lose daily to equal 20 in one day. But you are not required to walk the 20miles. If you need to end at the lunch area, we completely understand. The importance is that you are walking with us and helping us inform the public of veteran issues that plague our brothers/sisters.

Is there a shuttle bus available? How do I get back to the Start Point?

We do not recommend driving to Glencoe, as parking is very limited. We will have a shuttle bus that will take you back to Glencoe at the end of the event. We will also have two shuttle buses that will head to two different rally points in the city. Stay tuned for the announcement email for that.

Is there a time limit to complete?

Although this is not a race, we will close out the end point activities at around 6:30pm (1830). This gives you almost 9.5 hours to complete the event. This will be a long day for everyone involved, and we would love to make sure everyone gets to welcome you as you finish the event.

Is there a recommended packing list?

We recommend that you pack extra pairs of socks, water, moleskin, band-aid’s, an extra pair of shoes, a battery pack for your phone, a poncho (rain), some ziplock bags for your important belongings (again, rain), AND WATER! We cannot stress that enough. You do not want to dehydrate on the route.

Do I have to stay on course?

There are no street closures which means that you can easily get lost. Therefore, we recommend that you follow the posted route that will be published on the event page.

Can I take a break when I need to?

Yes, you are encouraged to take a break whenever you need to stop. There will be checkpoints along the route with some chairs you can stop at and change your socks/shoes.

Are there bathrooms/port-a-potties on the route?

There will be posted signs along the route. There will be port-a-potties available as well. These will also be marked on the route.

Is lunch provided?

Yes, lunch is free for all participants. It will be in Centennial Park in Evanston, IL.

Why is this not a timed event?

This is an awareness event. We want you to stop and talk to community members asking you what is going on. We want you to help us educate the community on issues that Veterans face: PTSD and suicide. We do not time this event because we want you to take the time to inform others on why YOU are walking 20 miles before Memorial Day weekend.

What time will the ruck march end? Can friends and family meet me at the end?

The time varies. Most participants finish between 3:30pm to 5pm. We encourage you to invite your friends and family to support you throughout the route, but also walk with you at this event. We recommend you update them on the time you think you’ll be at the end point.

Can I carry an American flag or branch flag?

YES! We highly encourage you to bring a flag. Whether it is the U.S. flag or a branch flag; we love to see those flags waving in the air along the route!

Miscellaneous

Will there be t-shirts for the ruck march?

Yes, we have two color shirts this year, Navy Blue and Canvas Red, check them out here: https://chicagovets.org/store/

Where can I purchase Chicago Veterans gear?

You can purchase Chicago Veterans gear from our online store at: https://chicagovets.org/store/

How can I become a sponsor?

Please reach out to us at ruckmarch@chicagovets.org and we will send you over our sponsorship package.

How can my company get involved?

We are actively looking for company sponsorships whether it be monetary or in-kind donations. We could use any type of service at the event: food, tents, storage, DJ, chairs, tables, water, etc. Please send us an email at ruckmarch@chicagovets.org to discuss other ways you can get involved!

How do I volunteer for the event if I cannot participate?

Register to volunteer here: https://chicagovets.org/ruck-volunteers/

What are tasks volunteers can do?

We need volunteers for every phase of the event; from the planning, to executing, to cleaning up. We can use assistance at check-in, cooking/serving lunch, manning a checkpoint, assisting with the end point activities, and more. Please shoot us a message if you have a group of people interested in volunteering for the event at ruckmarch@chicagovets.org.

If you have any more questions/concerns, please email us at ruckmarch@chicagovets.org.