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ST. MARYS — A local graduate recently competed in his first marathon, along with a few members of his ROTC group.
Dan Bubp, the son of John and Amy Bubp and a 2011 graduate of St. Marys Memorial High School, attends Bowling Green State University as part of the ROTC.
“I’m in the Air Force ROTC at BG,” Bubp said, “We’re part of Detachment 620.”
In late April, Bubp along with 22 male and female Air Force cadets, competed in the Mountain Man Memorial March in Gatlinburg, Tenn.
“It was the University of Tennesse’s Army ROTC’s,” Bubp said. “It was the fifth annual one.”
The marathon, he noted, was started by the University of Tennessee.
“Detachment 620 did it last year, and they did it again this year,” Bubp said. “I thought it was a good way to get involved and something fun to do.”
This was Bubp’s first marathon, and the group finished the 26.2 mile trek in 7 hours and 11 minutes.
“I’ve done nothing like this before,” he said. “The most I ran at one time was probably 3 miles running and walking — 26.2 miles was an adventure.”
The BGSU group started training for the route that goes through the Smoky Mountains by running in late January, early February.
“Once a week, we did a long run with full camo and boots and everything,” Bubp said. “The longest we ran was about 10 miles. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays after PT we went to the rec, and we ran for about 45 minutes and lifted and did the bicycle.”
To lead up to the marathon, the cadets also fundraised for their trip.
“We did quite a bit of fundraising around BG,” Bubp said. “It was quite expensive.”
The Mountain Man Memorial March was created to honor University of Tennessee alumni 1st Lt. Frank Walkup, who was killed in Iraq when an improvised explosive device detonated near his position. The event has grown to a tribute to honor fallen American heroes and veterans, past, present and future. The march also includes a special ceremony for the American Gold Star Mothers Inc., where the mothers of fallen American servicemen and women are honored — the mother presents a Gold Star Flag to a team marching in honor of their fallen service member.
“Each team was in honor of a fallen soldier,” Bubp said. “You get a Gold Star Mother — parents who lost a son or daughter in war. We actually got Spc. Hercules.”
He noted Hercules had lost his life in the Middle East.
“It was special knowing his family and people that were around him,” Bubp said. “There were about 60 Gold Star Mothers there.”
The group of cadets included all volunteers.
“It seemed like something you don’t do every day, something fun and rewarding when you finish,” Bubp said of why he volunteered. “I knew about it being in honor of something else, and I thought it would be something great to do.”
The Mountain Man Memorial March also includes members of the Army ROTCs, as well. The 2013 run will be held April 20.