By Matt Decker, Leonard WoodJuly 16, 2015
FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. (July 16, 2015) -- Saturday's 5k for Fun and Fitness event gave Fort Leonard Wood an uncommonly sunny end to an uncommonly dreary week. More than 200 runners turned out to participate in the 5k event, part of the post's free series of monthly races that began in April.
"It's great that we had so many people come out," said Command Sgt. Maj. Tyson Goolsby, U.S. Army Garrison Fort Leonard Wood command sergeant major, who ran the course with his three daughters, including Tya, 12, and twins Tyla and Tyra, 8. Goolsby took time to thank all Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation staff members and volunteers, some of whom were out as early as 5 a.m. setting up the course.
"We have strollers, pets, Families running together. It's a great event, and it's well conducted. I want to thank (everyone) who came out and helped put this together. Everyone was extremely friendly along the course and really cheered the runners on," he said.
Brandyn Hoover was the first runner to cross the finish line with a time of 18:50. Hoover, who will be a junior on the Plato High School cross-country team this fall, said he considered the course a "training race."
"Doing these 5ks in competition helps push me," he said. "I liked (the course). It kept me on my toes with its hills and curves. It's a good cross-country course, and it's nice to have a free race available."
Stephanie Husfeld was the first female runner to complete Saturday's 5k, finishing with a time of 22 minutes. Husfeld, a specialist attached to the 169th Engineer Company, said she had run the course several times before.
"It's a good course -- we run it every month. It think it's good for all levels, and it encourages you to push yourself," she said.
The morning began with a stretching and warm-up session led by Kelly Scarbrough, FMWR personal trainer and fitness instructor. Scarbrough said the races give her an opportunity to meet new people and introduce them to some of the moves used in the fitness programs, classes and activities FMWR has to offer.
"We have classes for every fitness level, and I can show people modifications they can use if the activity they're doing is too hard at first," she said. "It's great to see (an event like the 5k) pull the community together, get everyone together and have fun."
While the 5k series doesn't present awards to humans, the top canine competitors receive ribbons. This month's blue-ribbon winner was a 7-month-old German shepherd named Myla, who ran with her master, James Scott.
"Good job, girl!" Scott said as Myla crossed the finish line. Later, after water and a short rest, Scott pinned the blue ribbon on Myla's collar.
"This is her second race," Scott said. "Last time, she got second place; this time, she won."
Following the 5k, about 20 young attendees took part in the Kid's Half Miler. Samantha Tate, 10, won the race with a time of 3 minutes, 25 seconds. It was her second win of the year.
Whether they ran, walked, pushed strollers or were accompanied by canine companions, participants received water and fruit at the conclusion of the race, and also had a chance to get health and wellness information from a variety of on-post offices and agencies.
Among those represented at Saturday's event were the Fort Leonard Wood Veterinary Treatment Facility, the post Behavioral Health Department and General Leonard Wood Army Community Hospital's Leonard Wood Medical Home.
"It's a part of the hospital that basically includes all the primary care clinics," explained Sgt. 1st Class Adam Takayama, who manned the GLWACH booth with Spc. Alyssa Walton. They also passed out information on the hospital's RelayHealth program, which Takayama said is the Army's new secure health messaging system.
"It's a great way to communicate between patients and their primary care team," Takayama said, adding that more information is available on the GLWACH website at glwach.amedd.army.mil/ primary_care/leonardwood_medical_home/default.asp.
The "5k for Fun" series was created last year by Col. Andy Herbst, U.S. Army Garrison Fort Leonard Wood commander, as a way to promote the Army Performance Triad, which stresses healthy activity, nutrition and sleep, and the Soldier for Life Program, which aims to prepare service members for a lifetime of healthy living.
5k events are scheduled the second Saturday of each month and are free and open to the public. Future events planned for Aug. 8, Sept. 12, Oct. 10, Nov. 14 and Dec. 13. Husfeld said she would like to see even more runners come out to future races.
"I encourage everyone to come out and run. We need more participation," she said.
Hoover agreed, adding, "the more people who come out, the better."
"The more people you have, the more competition you have -- and the more fun you have," he said.