BYU-Idaho’s ROTC company will be holding a month-long 60-mile challenge during February in an effort to raise awareness of veteran suicide. Each participant’s goal is to reach 60 miles of movement by the end of the month, but that can be achieved through various means such as running, swimming, biking and other activities.
“You could walk it if you wanted to,” said Payton De la Cruz, an ROTC cadet. “Whatever you prefer or whatever’s easiest for you, just whatever you’d like to do, really. You can run, you can ride a bike, you can swim, as long as you’re moving for a total of 60 miles.”
Those who are interested in signing up may do so through a QR code, both available on the ads for the challenge, shown on campus, or on the ROTC’s Instagram page.
While individuals may reach 60 miles on their own time, the ROTC will also be running on Saturdays at 8 a.m. in the BYU-Idaho Center indoor track. The first two Saturdays they will run six miles, and the last two Saturdays they will run eight. For those unable to attend or commit to six or eight miles every Saturday, there will also be an option to run three miles every Tuesday at 6:30 a.m.
While the ROTC is looking for everyone to reach 60 miles of movement by the end of the month and are planning on providing t-shirts to participants, they hope those who participate take more away from the challenge than just fitness and getting in shape.
“When I was in training, the statistic they gave me was, I believe, one out of three veterans commit suicide every day, which is obviously super high — like way too high,” De la Cruz said. “I want people to think of the sacrifice that our service members are making and have made by serving the military and the lives we have lost — through suicide or any other means. Be grateful for that and the opportunity to serve in the military and have so many brave men and women that protect us.”
Those interested can sign up at any time during the month of February.