It started almost as a joke between friends.
BG Curtis Buzzard, the commandant of cadets at the U.S. Military Academy, and cadet leadership had challenged each member of the Corps of Cadets to run one mile to raise awareness for sexual assault and harassment. The challenge was initiated because April is recognized as Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month (SAAPM).
Class of 2021 Cadet Jordan Lawson and a couple of his friends in Company B-1 saw the challenge and decided one mile wasn’t nearly hard enough and set their sights higher. They eventually decided to take on retired U.S. Navy Seal and ultramarathon runner David Goggins’ 4x4x48 challenge. Four miles, every four hours, for 48 hours.
They sent word to their platoon and then all of B-1 as more and more cadets signed on for the challenge. At midnight eastern time on April 21, more than 50 cadets walked out of their houses throughout the country into the pitch-dark night and began to run. At 4 a.m., they went out again and then every four hours for the next two days they laced on their sneakers, walked outside and ran.
For some, it started as a solely physical challenge, but with each run, the cause became more and more central, multiple participants said. Alumni reached out and offered to support the cause and help raise awareness. Survivors reached out and thanked them for running. When people questioned what they were doing, the participants were able to strike up a conversation about the importance of the cause and why they were running. Read more.