Join us for our 10th Annual Salute the Troops Memorial Races! The 2021 races will feature 3 timed events: a (13.1) half marathon run, 5k run/walk and a kids ‘fun run’ for children 12 and under as well as 2 non timed events: a 13.1 mile Ruck March, 5K Ruck March. Our course is wheelchair friendly for the entire course as we follow the prairie trail through and around Fond du Lac. This annual running event helps raise money for Salute the Troops of Wisconsin and NAMI. All proceeds stay local and are used to help Wisconsin Veterans and suicide prevention.
Oven Island is our command central. Day of registration and all of the kids’ activities and games are on Oven Island. The Kid’s Fun Run is a way to get children excited about a healthy lifestyle and to participate in an event that they will be able to do through the ages.
The Dobogai Memorial 5K Run/Walk is in memory of Derek Dobagi. Derek was a law enforcement and justice administration major at Western Illinois University, graduating Magna Cum Laude in 2003. He received an active duty commission in 2003 as a second lieutenant in the United States Army through the Reserve Officers Training Corps. He then attended the Infantry Officer Basic Course at Fort Benning, Georgia. He was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii. That year he was named Lietutenant of the Year for the 25th Infantry Division. Derek was deployed to Iraq and served as the Brigade Scout Platoon Leader. On 22 August 2007, Derek and his ten-man scout team were returning to FOB Warrior after a successful mission. The Army Blackhawk helicopter – call sign “Jenna” — they were flying in crashed. Derek, his scouts, and the four-man Blackhawk crew were killed. Since 2009, Derek’s family has been honoring his memory and the memories of his comrades with a Memorial 5K Race in Fond du Lac.
Our 5K events and kids run take place inside the park boundaries while the Salute Half Marathon and the Brandon Michael Memorial Ruck March start at Oven Island, takes advantage of our loop trail and city streets, the recreational trail along Hwy 151, and Winnebago Dr before finishing back at Oven Island.
Why we ruck…
Brandon Michael our Marine, son, brother, father, uncle, friend is why we ruck. Brandon was a Marine Corps Veteran who joined the U.S. Marines without hesitation in 2006. Brandon loved his country and his family more than anything, he was happy to protect the things that he loved and did so with pride. Brandon served in Operation Iraq Freedom and was stationed in Fallujah, Iraq from 2007-2008. He formed bonds and was a part of a brotherhood that would never be paralleled. When Brandon came home we were all so proud, he was our hero and we never viewed him has anything less. Over the years Brandon struggled with transitioning back to civilian life. He fought each and every day to overcome the new obstacles that were in front of him. Brandon loved life, his family, and being a Marine. His favorite color was red because it represents freedom and tractors. His children were his two favorite people in the entire world and he loved them more than words could ever describe. As Brandon fought he grew tired and on July 15, 2018 he finally found the peace he had been searching for over the years. Brandon was kindhearted, gentle, humble, and is sincerely missed by all who knew and loved him. His bright eyes and shy smile have been forever etched in our memories.
We ruck to honor the memory of the fallen and remember everyone deployed. We ruck to show support for an elite group of individuals that don’t receive the recognition and care that they deserve. We ruck to advocate for change and facilitate camaraderie. We ruck because we will never truly understand the sacrifice of a soldier, however want to continue to try. We ruck for Brandon and for all of the others individuals who have made the ultimate sacrifice. Hero’s don’t wear capes, they wear dog tags.
Online registration closes on May 27th at 11:59PM you will still be able to register at packet pick-up and on race day.
Race shirts are not guaranteed after May 5th 2021
TENTATIVE RACE DAY SCHEDULE:
5:30 AM: Onsite registration opens (ends 10 minutes before each race start)
6:00 AM Brandon Michael Memorial 1/2 Marathon Ruck March START
6:45 AM: Opening Ceremony
7:00 AM: Half Marathon START
7:30 AM: 5K run & 5K Ruck March START
10:00 AM: HALF MARATHON COURSE CUTOFF
09:30 AM: KIDS RACE START
09:45 AM: AWARDS
course closes at noon