Second annual YCP ruck run to benefit veterans set for Sunday

By Kai O’Brien

THE second annual York College ruck run will take place Sunday, Nov. 13, with participants leaving from Grumbacher and then choosing a 5K or 10K route on the rail trail.

This is Dr. Robyn Maitoza’s second year holding this event. Maitoza is the associate professor of human services here at York College and also chair of the Implied Behavioral Science Department. She teaches a course called Boot Camp YCP Style. 

Maitoza previously worked at University of Nevada, Reno, where she wrote a handful of publications and her dissertation on family resilience. “Since coming here, I’ve done more work with youth in the community. I love doing applied research, helping people in the community, and really making a difference,” she says. 

About 20 people participated in the York College Veteran’s Day Ruck Sunday, Nov. 14, 2021. (Photo by Bill Kalina, The York Dispatch)

A ruck is running or walking with a weighted backpack, a common practice in the military. Last year in her First Year Seminar (FYS), a student came up with the idea of holding the ruck for their service project. Since COVID-19 was still lingering at the time, it was the perfect idea since the event would be held outside. “Last year, we raised around $1,000 with about 35 participants registered. This is really good considering we threw this together in only a couple of weeks. Our hope is that this year we raise at least $1,000,” she says.

Proceeds from the event, which will begin at noon at the Grumbacher Sport and Fitness Center, will be donated to Roots for Boots, a nonprofit located in nearby New Oxford that serves veterans and their families. 

This event is open to the public. You can either run a 5K or the 10K, and the ruck is optional. “I only teach this class every fall, so be on the lookout every fall for this event,” Maitoza says.

York College students who are veterans and active-duty members enrolled in a first-year seminar are coordinating the ruck to celebrate Veterans Day. 

Two students who were interviewed about the ruck were positive about the concept albeit not participating this year.

“I have heard of the ruck, but I will not be attending,” says Susan Vickers, a freshman majoring in Psychology. “I think it will be beneficial in the future. Rucks bring a lot of awareness to mental health issues for veterans, which as a Psychology major, I think is very important.”

Adds Darius Frailey, a sophomore majoring in Marketing, “I haven’t heard of this yet actually. I won’t be able to go because I have work, but I definitely like this idea. If it’s done again, trust me I’ll be doing it.”

Louis Tapias briefs participants before the Veteran’s Day Ruck at York College’s Grumbacher Sport and Fitness Center Sunday, Nov. 14, 2021. He is one of the York College student veterans and active duty members enrolled the course, Boot Camp YCP Style. (Photo by Bill Kalina, The York Dispatch)

Registration is available on; the cost is $20 prior to the event and $25 on the day of the event. Free T-shirts will be given to the first 50 registrants.

Additional information on York College’s programs for Veterans is available at

Kai O’Brien is a Mass Communications major. He also runs track and field and plays for the club lacrosse team as well. 

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