Saturday, Sept. 12, 10 members of men’s social club Sub T-16 ran the Conquer the Gauntlet race in Little Rock, Arkansas, in honor of 2016 graduate and Sub T-16 member Botham Shem Jean.
The Sub T-16 members originally signed up for the race in May as a fun thing to do, according to senior Josh Brandon. However, after Jean’s death on Sept. 6, Brandon talked to the other runners, and they decided to run the race in honor of Jean.
“It was rewarding knowing that we did it for such a great, Godly man who had a great impact on our lives,” Brandon said.
Brandon said Jean was a senior when most of the runners were freshmen, and he was one of the leaders of the club’s induction week the year they joined the club.
The 4-mile race included 25 obstacles such as balancing beams, monkey bars and climbing walls. Brandon said senior Nathan Wagner broke his nose during one of the obstacles, but Wagner still finished the race.
“I would say that the most rewarding part of the race was finishing it and having everyone [finish] it together,” Brandon said.
Senior Hunter Hoagland and graduate student Adam Blake also ran in the race.
“It was a 4-mile long obstacle race. … It was tough, but knowing we were doing it to honor Botham made it that much easier to finish,” Hoagland said.
The men had decided to run the race to spend time together, but the race became something more.
“Although all of us running this race together turned into something a lot bigger than us, individually, it started as just a fun way to spend time with some friends,” Blake said.
Blake and Hoagland said Jean played an important role in each of their lives. The group said it was an honor to know Jean, his life leaving a lasting impact on all of them in different ways.
“During my sophomore year, I had very little aim and direction, but that’s all that Botham had. He was so motivated. I’m not sure if he knew I needed guidance, but that’s what he gave instinctively no matter who he spoke [to],” Blake said.
Steve Lake, sponsor of Sub T-16 and assistant vice president of advancement, said Jean was always ready to do his part for the club.
“He was very proud to be a member of Sub T and was very committed to the club, its traditions and history,” Lake said. “He made his mark on us, and I will do my best to see that he is never forgotten.”
Lake called Jean a sergeant at arms for the club.
“Botham led my pledge class, and I’ll never forget what he taught me,” Hoagland said. “He emphasized how we are stronger as one, so that’s how we ran the race together.”