Chicago Veterans Ruck March: FAQs


How do I register for the Chicago Veterans Ruck March?

To register is easy, Click here, 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 minimal to cover a portion of the expenses of putting together this event. We do encourage everyone to create a fundraising page and share the link with your friends and family. If you are unable to cover the cost for whatever reason, please email us at and we will help provide a way for you to register as we would love to still have you attend.

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 guardian. 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?

Due to the large amount of participants, registration will be not allowed the day of the event. Please be sure to register before you attend. Click here, to register.

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

You can make a donation 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 a check?

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

Chicago Veterans
6441 W Irving Park Rd Unit 34330, Chicago, IL 60634

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.


2023 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 a 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 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 register as an individual, and you’d like to join an existing team, you can email us at 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. Note that you will not be charged for the remaining goal if you don’t meet it; although we encourage you to surpass it.

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
6441 W Irving Park Rd Unit 34330, Chicago, IL 60634

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

Rucksack and Clothing

Does Chicago Veterans provide Rucksacks?

No, Chicago Veterans will not provide Rucksacks for the event. If you do not have a Rucksack you can wear any backpack you feel comfortable with. Some attendees wear a bookbag while others wear a gym bag.

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.

Am I required to carry 17lbs?

The significance of the 17 pounds is a pound for each life we lose daily to equal 17 in one day. But you are not required to carry the 17lbs. Some carry more, others carry less, we recommend you fill your bags with first aid supplies and water. The importance is that you are walking with us and helping us inform the community of Veteran issues that plague our brothers/sisters.

How to pack our Rucksack?

We have developed a Ruck March packing guide that will help you prepare for our upcoming Ruck.

Event Day

What it the event timeline?

0700: Participant Check-In begins (299 Park Ave Glencoe, IL)
0830: Opening Ceremony (299 Park Ave Glencoe, IL)
0900: First Wave Step Off (299 Park Ave Glencoe, IL)
1100-1400 Lunch in Evanston (Location pending permit)
1400-1700: End Point Activities (1650 N Stockton Dr, Chicago, IL 60614)

What is the start, lunch, and end point?

View our Ruck March Route here: The route is here

What is the parking situation?

Parking is extremely limited, we highly recommend public transportation or other means. Another option we recommend is taking the Metra to plan your route accordingly. We highly recommend getting dropped off if the CTA is not an option.

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

Check-in begins at 0700 on the day of the event. 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 alcohol. If you have any questions about what is prohibited, please send us an email at

Are there water and aid stations on the course?

There are water stations with limited water supply throughout the route. We highly encourage you to carry water in your bag as well. There will be an aid station at the halfway point with basic first aid available. There will also be an emergency van picking up participants to bring them to the aid station throughout the

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, cut-off’s and gym shoes. 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.

Where do I find photos from the event?

The photos will be posted on our website at about a month after the event.

Where can I find the route map?

View the Ruck March map here

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.

Is there a time limit to complete?

Although this is not a race, we will close out the end point activities at around 5:00pm (1700). This gives you almost 9 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.

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 and follow posted signage on the route.

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 port-a-potties available as well and public bathrooms around the route.

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 2:00pm 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!

Will there be professional photography and videography?

Chicago Veterans will have photographers and videographers along the route. The photos and video will be shared on our website, so make sure you join our newsletter. Our participants have signed waivers and acknowledged that they understand that their photo/video can be used for Chicago Veterans promotional material in the future. Outside professional videography and photography are NOT allowed without prior approval and consent: if you plan on bringing professional photography/videography, Send an email to request approval to


Will there be t-shirts for the Ruck March?

Yes, we will have a shirt specially made for the event. You can purchase one via registration or when you arrive on event day.

How can I become a sponsor?

Please reach out to us at 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 to discuss other ways you can get involved!

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

Click here for volunteer registration

What are the 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 endpoint activities, and more. Please shoot us a message if you have a group of 10 people or more if interested in volunteering for the event as a group at

If you have any more questions/concerns, please email us at