Mountain Man March Coming Soon

The Mountain Man Memorial March in Gatlinburg.

The Mountain Man Memorial March is an annual event in Gatlinburg and the Smoky Mountains. This year, it will be held on Friday and Saturday, April 20 and 21.

The Mountain Man Memorial March is a 26.2-mile march through the Smoky Mountains and Gatlinburg. It is considered a tribute to our men and women in uniform. The event was created to honor 1st Lt. Frank Walkup, a Univeristy of Tennessee-Knoxville alumnus, who was killed in the line of duty in Iraq in 2007.

The Gatlinburg City website said this about Walkup’s life:

Raised in Woodbury, Tennessee, Frank B. Walkup, IV, always wanted to be like his father and serve in the Army. Upon his graduation from the University of Tennessee in 2005, Frank was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Infantry. A graduate of Airborne, Air Assault, and Ranger School, Walkup was assigned to the 25th Infantry Division in Hawaii. In the summer of 2006 he was deployed to Iraq as a platoon leader.
     He was killed on 16 June 2007 in Rashaad, Iraq, by an improvised explosive device that detonated near his position during a dismounted patrol. He is survived by his parents, eight brothers and sisters, and his college sweetheart, Sabita Walkup.

Friday night will be the opening ceremony for the event. The actual March will begin at 9 a.m. on Saturday, April 21 in downtown Gatlinburg. The march will then proceed up Hwy. 321. The motto of the event is: “Support the Future, Honor the Past.”

Entry in the march is open in three categories: Military Heavy, Military Light, and Civilian. Those in the military category will have uniform and backpack/ruck sack weight requirements. There are also half- or quarter-marathon options.

Register for the Mountain Man Memorial March here.

About Kendra