23rd Veteran, a Duluth-area nonprofit organization, hosts the fifth annual Nearly Naked Ruck March. Veterans, military personnel and civilians are invited to hike with weighted packs along Duluth’s Skyline Parkway wearing nothing but boots, hats, gloves and long underwear.
The weight in the packs represents the emotional and psychological burden veterans still carry after returning home. All the money raised from this event supports 23rd Veteran’s 14-week 23V Recon program, aimed at helping Duluth area veterans living with trauma to have happier and healthier lives. Learn more at 23rdveteran.org. This year all event revenue and donations will be matched up to $75,000.
Why Nearly Naked? “Nearly naked” refers to the absence of combat gear. Instead of uniforms, ruckers will showcase their own style, dressing up as superheroes, in patriotic customs or underwear.
There will be full day of live music, patriotism, food and drinks throughout the course. Mic Drop Entertainment will bring the beats at Ruck Village, Luke Heikkila will be performing at the Water Stop, and the Other Place will be serving food and beer to enjoy before, during and after the ruck. All in-person ruckers will receive a piece of Nearly Naked branded swag, a finisher’s coin, and those that ruck the full 10-miles receive an All the Way patch. This event is family, stroller and dog friendly, and planned with the pandemic in mind. All ruckers will have their temperatures checked upon arrival and maintain physical distancing with staggered start times and one-way rucking.
Registration is open online at 23rdveteran.org.
Beginning at 8 a.m., Skyline Parkway and Hank Jensen Drive around Enger Tower will be closed to traffic. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. and the march will start at 10 a.m. No traffic will be allowed on West Skyline Parkway between Twin Ponds and the Enger Golf parking lot from 8 a.m. until approximately 4 p.m. to accommodate course set-up and tear-down.
The party at the finish line features live music, a beer garden and food trucks.
All event volunteers, spectators, and participants should take 24th Avenue West to Skyline Parkway to access the event.
Only Ruck March event participants will be allowed on Skyline Parkway from 24th Avenue West to the Enger Golf lot during the closure time. No vehicles will be allowed past the Enger Golf Course Lot.
Parking for the event will be available in the Enger Golf lot and west of Enger Golf along the sides of Skyline Parkway. Motorists should not park in areas marked as “no parking” and must park in a manner which keeps driving lanes open. Violators may be ticketed and towed.
Warning signs will be posted at 10th Avenue West and Skyline Parkway, alerting drivers to the street closure at Twin Ponds.
Skyline Parkway will re-open to traffic by approximately 4 p.m. However, the area will remain congested with traffic and pedestrians after the Ruck March ends, due to festivities continuing at Enger Golf after the Ruck March.