By Mr. Bryan Gatchell (IMCOM)May 16, 2013
ANSBACH, Germany (May 16, 2013) -- The sky was gray, and the air was humid with the possibility of light rain. Within the forested training area, water had lingered on the muddy paths and unpaved roads. The course the runners would take passed through this mud and several other obstacles, including ravines, tire flips, tire walks, wall climbs, monkey bars, carrying logs, crawling beneath trucks, contorting through a thick web of ropes, crawling through ditches and more. By the end of the five kilometers, the runners were muddy, exhausted and smiling.
The Mission Complete Race, held at Franken Kaserne May 3, was a joint effort between the 5th Battalion, 158th Aviation Regiment, and Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation. With the number of participants ranging into the three digits and several man-made obstacles throughout the course route, as well as an elaborate starting and stopping location that included food and refreshment, the race was a large undertaking.
Lt. Col. Daniel Ruiz, commander of the 5th Bn., expressed the wish that the event continue the following year.
"For those of you who are [here] I hope you continue to push garrison and push the battalion to sponsor some sort of race," said Ruiz. "I think these things are great for the community and we need to do the more frequently. For the garrison especially, we thank you for doing it and we ask that you continue to do it."
The obstacles made some difference for the runners.
"I did it for the obstacles; I didn't do it for the run," said Beth Starritt. "[The obstacles were] creative and fun -- nice and muddy, just what I am looking for."
"It's sort of different," said Capt. Danielle Naser. "Usually a fun run is a bunch of us getting together and running. This is actually fun."
"I'm out here to run a race and have a good time -- and get muddy apparently," said Capt. Tim Olliges.
Others found this an opportunity to enjoy their time as a family. The Purtles took their family, including a child in a stroller, through the course.
"Oh, it's great!" said Matt Purtle of how the stroller held up during the race. "It does everything. We even went over the balance beam and through the mud. We hadn't expected this. We thought it was going to be on the road the whole time."
"This is a complete mission, and we are a complete family," said Lisa Purtle. "We go through everything as a family -- deployments, TDY -- so we do races as families. We're there for each other."
Of the winners of the race, including Cpl. Prince Keumajou, who won best time for a male individual, the secret to his success running every day.
"This is my first time to run a race," said Keumajou. "It was fun."
"I work out all the time -- constantly," said Sgt. Crystal Harrison, who had the best time for an individual female runner.
Harrison did not know what the race would be like.
"I thought it was going to be a lot tougher," said Harrison. "They were talking about obstacles, and I didn't know what to expect. The only thing I had trouble with was the medevac wall being a little high for me."
There will be more fun runs throughout the summer, including Army Birthday Run for the Fallen June 14, the Independence Day 5- and 10-kilometer run June 29, the Color Run for Prevention 5-kilometer run July 20 and more. To learn more, call the Katterbach Physical Fitness Center at 09802-83-2771 or DSN 467-2771 or Storck Physical Fitness Center at 09841-83-4582 or DSN 467-4582.