BOONSBORO, Md. --
On 22 November 2014, nine members of the Expeditionary Warfare School (EWS) faculty, staff, and students completed a physical challenge over 100 years in the making.
The team competed in the JFK 50 Mile Run in downtown Boonsboro, Maryland. They won this year’s Kennedy Cup with completion times ranging from 7 hours, 22 minutes to just more than 11 hours, 30 minutes.
According to the race website, “of the many awards presented at the JFK 50 Mile each year, the most prestigious is the Kennedy Cup, which is awarded to the top-finishing military team. Each military team can have a maximum of 10 participants with the finishing times from the top-five finishers combined for the team time.”
Although open to the public, the race is proud of its historical ties to the military.
In 1908, President Theodore Roosevelt issued Executive Order 989. A portion of the order stated, “Line officers of the Marine Corps in the grade of captain or lieutenant will be required to walk fifty miles, this distance to be divided into three days, actual marching time, including rests, twenty hours.”
Nearly 55 years later, President John F. Kennedy issued a similar challenge to all officers of the armed forces. The first JFK 50 Mile Challenge was held in the spring of 1963 and has since been held annually in Washington County, Maryland.
Despite the grueling nature of the challenge, the team embraced the chance to compete in such a historical, well-supported event while representing the United States Marine Corps and the school.