NEW ORLEANS (press release) – To honor the legacy of those who fought to secure the freedom we enjoy today, The National WWII Museum and Crescent City Classic are launching the third-annual WWII Challenge.

This year’s unique virtual fitness challenge will offer participants of all ages the option of selecting one of three routes: the “Operation Liberty Road” courses (100- and 712-mile options) to follow the path that Allied forces took to liberate France in the summer of 1944; the “Operation Pacific Theater” courses (72- and 717-mile options) to commemorate the vast accomplishment of securing victory in the Pacific from Pearl Harbor to Tokyo Bay; and the newly added “Operation Race to Messina” (250-mile option) to symbolize General Patton’s landings on Sicily’s eastern coast and the Allied advance to invade the key port city of Messina.

Registration for all WWII Challenge options is open now and will close on August 1. All challenges are $50 to enter with individual and team registrations available. Participants have from August 1 to December 1 to complete their mileage by running, walking, jogging or biking.

Participants completing any of the “Operation Liberty Road,” “Operation Pacific Theater” or “Operation Race to Messina” courses will receive an exclusive, branded T-shirt, finisher’s dog tag, virtual bib and 25% off general admission to The National WWII Museum in New Orleans. A portion of participants’ entry fees and 100% of donations to the challenges will go directly to the Museum and its educational mission, ensuring that future generations understand the price of freedom. Contributions from the previous two challenges totaled more than $117,000 in direct support for The National WWII Museum.

“We’re thrilled to partner with The National WWII Museum again to launch a patriotic way to stay active,” said WWII Challenge Director Eric Stuart. “Last year’s WWII Challenge was a smashing success for CCC and The National WWII Museum so we’re ecstatic to continue the partnership and the tradition.”

“We are grateful to once again partner with the Crescent City Classic on the WWII Challenge to help honor and preserve the legacy of those who defended freedom and democracy in the face of tyranny. We are losing the WWII generation at a rapid rate, making the Museum’s mission to tell their stories critical,” said Nathan Huegen, Director of Educational Travel at The National WWII Museum who led the development of the race routes. “By adding Operation Race to Messina to this year’s challenge, we now have options covering campaigns in Northern Europe, Italy and the Pacific. No matter which option participants choose, we hope they learn about and reflect on the extraordinary footsteps they are following in.”

Registration for the WWII Challenge is now open at Questions about the virtual race can be emailed to