For the last 24 years, about 100 Northern Cheyenne youth embark on a six day, 400 mile relay style run starting at Fort Robinson in Nebraska. The runners travel through South Dakota and Wyoming before completing the run in Busby, Montana at the Two Moons gravesite. The run honors the Northern Cheyenne who escaped from Fort Robinson in 1879.
Chaperone Cinnamon Spear Kills First has been participating in the run for 14 years and believes it teaches the youth a valuable history lesson that they can't get anywhere else.
"We're teaching history to our youth that is not taught in schools and this event is one way for them to connect to the truth of this country and the history of our Cheyenne people as well as the state of Nebraska, South Dakota, Montana all of those states, this history happened there," says Kills First.
With temperatures dipping below zero throughout the day, the physical aspect of the run took a backseat in the minds of the young runners as they needed to be mentally strong and find a way to keep going.
Mario Spotted Elk who has done the run before says "what motivated me was my family and friends, my confidence... because going through stuff at the time and going on a promise run helps you a lot in spirituality and friends and family helps me a lot and pushes me to keep going."
For past runners like Krystal Two Bulls, whose parents founded the run, she still takes away lessons learned from when completed the run as a youth.
"When you complete four hundred miles in like one degree weather or zero degree weather and then you get back, I mean there's no feeling like that," says Two Bulls. "There's nothing that feels better than knowing you did that, you accomplished that and that when you encounter other things that are tough, it won't compare."