'Get the Ruck Out' March Slated for Saturday

By: Jared Cerullo Email
By: Jared Cerullo Email

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A Wichita man is trying to help get people moving with a memorial march to honor the legacy of one of the first Kansas soldiers killed in the War on Terror.

Jamie Maugans was part of a group of Army soldiers tasked to defuse roadside bombs. He died in Afghanistan in 2002 when one of those bombs went off.

Now, his best friend continues to honor Jamie by urging people to get off the couch and get healthy.

"We're attempting to get people out and show them they don't have to be a member of a gym or have a lot of big expensive weights... to get out and exercise," said Matt Everhart.

Everhart decided last year to form an annual program called Get the Ruck Out. This year's event is Saturday at Exploration Place. Matt and Jamie tried to join the military together, but Jamie couldn't because he was overweight.

"He was bound and determined," Everhart said Friday. "He was going to get in shape and do what he needed to do to lose weight and make it happen."

Jamie did it. He lost 30 pounds and enlisted in the Army the next year.

Saturday's event starts at Exploration Place at 7 a.m. Last year, more than 130 people turned out for the event. This year, Everhart says there will likely be more than 200.

"If 150 people show up and we can help one person lose weight, then that's kinda 'mission accomplished' for me," Everhart said.

There will be four different walking or running routes that people can take. Along the way, organizers will show people simple exercises they can do on their own without having to join a gym or go out and buy expensive weight machines.

"Education is a big part of this," says Everhart. "I think if they know they can go and work out, even for only 30 minutes, if it's a 30 minute walk, you're gonna feel a lot better, get a better night's sleep and ultimately, that's the road to longer life."

The event is free. Anyone is welcome. All you have to do is show up and be ready to exercise and get healthy.

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