By Jim DresbachMay 24, 2013
JOINT BASE MYER-HENDERSON HALL, Va. - The pre-Memorial Day weekend mugginess did not discourage more than 200 runners and walkers from conquering the seven kilometers of the Iwo Jima Memorial 7K road race.
With May 22 early morning temperatures already bucking the 70 degree mark, service member athletes, Pentagon workers, veterans and civilians left the Cpl. Terry L. Smith Gymnasium start/finish line only to return in perspiration-soaked attire.
"It was a little tough to breath when you're going through it, but it wasn't as bad [running] as it would be in the afternoon," said Monica Mendoza, who is a Marine sergeant and picked up a third place finish in the female division.
The course cut through JBM-HH using McNair Road as the main artery, and runners left the installation at Wright Gate to take laps around the Marine Corps Memorial. Following paces around Arlington's Iwo Jima Memorial statue, a return jaunt toward the Henderson Hall portion of JBM-HH awaited the 7K participants.
The first male to finish was 2013 Shamrock Shuffle winner and Boston Marathon participant Joseph Galvin with a winning time of 25 minutes and 45 seconds. Sean Sullivan was second (26:22) and Chris Haynie was the third best men's runner in 26:48.
Yuko Whitestone, of the Pentagon's Office of the Secretary of Defense/Personnel and Readiness, was the top lady finisher in 32 minutes and 38 seconds, while Fay Slatterly completed the four-plus mile course in 32:54 to claim the female runner-up spot. Third place finisher Mendoza's race time was 33:43 in her final Ooh Rah series race before reporting to officer's candidate school.
Many runners, including Headquarters and Service Battalion, Headquarters Marine Corps, Henderson Hall Commanding Officer Col. Ira M. Cheatham and top finisher Whitestone doubled back from the finish line to encourage other runners to overcome the heat and humidity.
The next Ooh Rah Run/Semper Fit road race is the Chesty 5K scheduled for Wednesday, June 26