The Saturday Run
The cornerstone to achieving wear blue’s mission is the Saturday Run, held at chapters or local meet-ups. The Saturday Run is a weekly event facilitated by wear blue volunteers which typically occurs on Saturday mornings. Saturday Runs are gatherings of a mixed community at public location, where members network with one another, gather in solidarity to honor the fallen, and then participate in a life-affirming run. It is a positive, upbeat experience. The runs are open and free to all. The Saturday Run provides access to running as a healthy coping mechanism for our military personnel and the friends and family of service members killed in combat. Saturday Runs are at no cost to participants.
wear blue Mile
wear blue, in support of its mission to honor the service and sacrifice of the American military, creates the wear blue Mile at officially designated races. The wear blue Mile is comprised of two parts – (1) the Faces of the Fallen posters and (2) American flags (each draped with a black ribbon, bearing the name of a fallen military member) held by volunteers.
Each chapter participates in an annual local marathon at which runners train to run the half or full marathon. The national race is the powerful Marine Corps Marathon. On race day, volunteers, often fellow military or families of the fallen service members, line a mile of the course to hold large American flags with the names of the fallen service members embroidered onto ribbons attached to each flag. Leading up to the flags, posters are displayed with the photograph and name of each fallen military member whose flags are being held. This wear blue Mile is a moving tribute to honor and humanize those who gave their lives for this country.
On Memorial Day, wear blue: run to remember produces a national memorial event. Partnering with local non-profits, wear blue encourages runners and walkers across the nation to commit to run or walk miles in honor of each service member killed in the Global War on Terror. wear blue asks the nation to challenge themselves physically and mentally by choosing a distance that is greater than their average training, whether it be 1 mile or 100, in order to ground the day in its true meaning of honor and remembrance.
Runners can join their local chapters, organize a meet-up, or run individually. By the close of Memorial Day, runners and walkers across the nation will have shared in a national effort to run in honor of every member of the American Military who laid down his or her life for this country. Local chapters will create community wide events, which feature marked running routes, a shared meal, and American flags placed into the ground as a visual reminder of the lives sacrificed. wear blue: run to remember provides the names of fallen service members to athletes to honor with their steps.
By providing race entries to our community, wear blue gives access to a healthy coping mechanism to those who would not otherwise recognize running as this outlet. By training for the race, they learn to face and cope with losses sustained on the battle field.
The loss of our service members reminds the wear blue community that life wasn’t meant to be lived in mediocrity. There are men and women who gave of themselves in entirety for our nation. And because of this, in our races, wear blue runners challenge themselves to run faster and farther than the distances thought possible… And what is achieved in the race becomes the guide to how to live one’s life.
Gold Star Race Program
The family members who have sacrificed all in service to our nation deserve the opportunity to not only heal, but thrive after losing their loved ones. wear blue emboldens Gold Star family members in the healing process through running. The Gold Star Race Program provides these Gold Star family members race selection and access, as well as the training and support necessary to complete a wear blue endurance running event. Each program recipient will receive one personalized wear blue shirt, one pair of running shoes, one race entry, airfare to race, lodging for race, training plan for race, a certified running coach, and support throughout the training and race experience. The athlete’s fallen service member will be uniquely honored on the tribute wear blue Mile.
The desired end state of these programs is a community organization that brings together the civilian and military populations to jointly honor the Fallen, the Fighting, and the Families. As wear blue is a community program, it is not necessarily a social organization. wear blue encourages community cohesiveness through social activities, but remains cognizant of the core mission of wear blue. Similarly, while running is a core component of wear blue, it is not a running club.