‘American Ruck’ Returns for Second Event Honoring Vets, First Responders

After a smashingly successful inaugural run in 2022, the American Ruck is set to return next month, a seven-mile walk created by employees at American Steel to recognize, remember and honor the sacrifices of military veterans and first responders.

Slated to begin at 8 a.m. (check-in at 7 a.m.) Saturday, June 17, at the newly opened Lampros Steel, 2480 Southeast 13th Avenue, the American Ruck follows the Logging Road Trail through Canby to its northern terminus at the Willamette River and back. Additional parking available at American Steel, 525 South Sequoia Parkway.

“We had over 100 at our inaugural event last year and are hoping for 200 or more this year,” Jackie Bates, one of the event’s lead organizers both years, said, adding, “Kids are always welcome. We had lots in strollers last year and some walking with their parents.”

Photos courtesy The American Ruck.
Photos courtesy The American Ruck.

While running or jogging is allowed, Bates said most participants go at a steady walking pace. What distinguishes the event from other run/walk fundraisers is that ruckers are asked to carry at least 20 pounds — if they are physically able.

“The weight you select to carry is up to you and how you decide to carry it,” Bates said. “We had some carry over 60-plus pounds last year!”

Those unable to carry a ruck are still welcome to participate at their own pace and ability level.

Photos courtesy The American Ruck.

Cost is $50 for pre-registration or $60 the day of the event (cash or check only). Pre-registrants will also score a free hat on the morning of the event. To pre-register, go to runsignup.com/race/or/canby/theamericanruck.

Proceeds from the 2023 American Ruck will go to Canby First Responder Fund and Todd Shaw Memorial Fund. The Dr. Richard Davies First Responder Fund is a 501(c)(3) which seeks to ensure that Canby police, fire, EMTs, and The Canby Center have resources to assist people with needs incurred during an emergency.

The Todd Shaw Memorial Fund is a partner of Building Blocks for Kids, which is an organization that provides scholarships for local children to play youth sports in our community. The fund is dedicated to the memory of Todd Shaw, a husband, father, friend, coach and Oregon City community member for over 25 years.

Photos courtesy The American Ruck.
Photos courtesy The American Ruck.

A former NCAA football player at Washington State University, Shaw moved to Oregon City in 1998, where he soon made his mark on the youth coaching scene in softball, basketball and football.

Shaw died unexpectedly in February 2023, leaving behind a wife and two children. His family chose to honor his commitment to youth sports by creating the opportunity to donate to Building Blocks 4 Kids in his name and memory. The funds donated will provide scholarships for local youth sports organizations.

For more information, follow The American Ruck on Facebook and Instagram, or call Jackie Bates at 503-651-6730.

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