More than 150 participants in the Shamrock Shuffle 5K run/1 mile walk start the race at the sound of the gun shot, moments after the playing of reveille at the fitness center off of Sheridan Avenue on Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall March 16.

Among the grey P.T. uniforms, accented with green in celebration of St. Patrick's Day, the Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall running season kicked off with special surprise guests who, visiting the region from Fort Sam Houston, Texas, also participated in the 5K run/-- 1 mile walk "Shamrock Shuffle," March 16.

"So, we heard of the race and Command Sgt. Maj. [Earl L.] Rice and I came out to run with all these great troops and Family members, and we thought it was just a very well executed race. The energy of the crowd is very, very good. The St. Patrick's Day theme makes it even more fun," said Lt. Gen. Michael Ferriter, Commander, U.S. Army Installation Management Command and assistant chief of staff of Installation Management, commenting on his and the command sergeant major participating.

He continued, "I love it. We have sponsored a lot of races over the years, and when you have a costume theme, you'll see innovation and a sparkle in the eye of all the characters and the great personalities that we have in our Soldiers and Families."

More than 150 people, including Rice and Ferriter, participated in the 5K-run and 1-mile walk, which started and ended at the fitness center on Sheridan Avenue, wound its way through the base and up cardiac hill on Jackson Avenue.

"The hill at the end is a challenge. I just thought it was a lot of fun, a good way to start a Friday," said Betty Squatrito-Martin, a tech sergeant with the Air National Guard who won the over-50 category.

This "is something you can do individually, and yet people cheer you just because you do it. It does not matter whether you are first or last. Whenever you come across the finish line they cheer you," she said.

"It is just a good feeling inside to know that you accomplished something. It gets the juices flowing, makes the rest of the day good."

Ferriter stayed after the run to present the winners of the different age categories and the overall winners with trophies. Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation employees who ran the race were honored with challenge coins.

Lt. Scott McCann of Coast Guard Headquarters won overall for the men, while 2nd Lt. Mary Clair Finnen-Hodges from Headquarters Marine Corps won overall for the women. Army Staff Sgt. Rebecca Box and the 529th Transportation Company won for the unit with the most participants.

Hermione Dewitt, who turned 10 a day before the Shamrock Shuffle, was given a prize bag and a coin by Ferriter. She was also honored with a rendition of happy birthday sung by the general and participants of the race.

"It was a true Family moment," said Brandon Lamberson, sports specialist with DFMWR.

The Shamrock Shuffle is the first of seven fun runs and four qualifying runs for the Army 10-miler on JBM-HH.

Page last updated Thu March 29th, 2012 at 00:00