The UCO Army ROTC Gold Bar 5K Run is planned for April 22.
Thatcher Hall on the UCO campus. File photo/ The Vista.
The University of Central Oklahoma’s Army ROTC is hosting its fifth annual 5K Gold Bar Run on Saturday, April 22. The run will begin at 8 a.m. outside of the Liberal Arts building.
The main purpose of the run is to aid the Broncho Battalion student organization which gives funding to ROTC student cadets. For the cadets, getting sponsorship for the Gold Bar Run is part of their curriculum.
“The basis for the run is to get the cadets out and working within the community, to reach out to the public because they help us,” Suzanne Bare with the Military Science Department said. “We want to give off that hometown feel and to get people to be a part of the race who aren’t just runners, like veterans.”
The proceeds that go to the Broncho Battalion enable the cadets to get more realistic training like paintball, ropes course and rifle training. It also goes toward updated uniforms and intramural sports, as well as toward a major event for the cadets — a trip to the Bataan Memorial Death March.
The Bataan Memorial Death March is an annual event in White Sands, New Mexico in remembrance of the service members who defended the Philippine Islands during the second World War. It’s an event that the UCO ROTC cadets look forward to every year but would be most likely be unable to attend if it wasn’t for the money raised by the Gold Bar Run.
Racers must sign up and pay a registration fee of $35 to compete, but the fees benefit multiple organizations.
One organization that benefits is the Folds of Honor Foundation, which provides scholarships and assistance to the families of those who have died or been disabled while in service to our country.
It also benefits UCO’s Native American Student Association by contributing to the UCO Native American Faculty & Staff Association Endowed Scholarship.
So far, this year the Gold Bar Run has received sponsorship from Chick-fil-A, Fairfield Inn and IHOP, but the cadets are still looking to find more.
Last year the run had a promising turn out of about 500 participants and they hope to increase that number this year. Every participant will receive an Army tumbler for participating.