By Nathan Pfau, Army Flier Staff WriterSeptember 29, 2016
FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- More than a hundred runners, family members and friends took part in Fort Rucker's second Hispanic Heritage Half Marathon Sept. 24.
Originally created due to popular demand, Lynn Avila, Fort Rucker fitness programs coordinator, said bringing the run back this year was a no brainer.
"It's been requested (here) and it's an event that has done well at other posts, so it's a rewarding challenge for anyone who chooses to participate," she said.
For those who didn't want to take on the full 13.1-mile race alone, they were able to take to the course as a team of two runners, splitting the distance, but even if that was too much to handle, a 2-mile fun run was available to those who haven't quite built up to the half-marathon challenge yet.
"This is an excellent opportunity for anyone who wishes to attempt a low-key half marathon with less competition before they attempt a larger race," said Avila.
The winners in each category were: Daniel Comacho, overall winner with a time of 1:24:34; Ashlee Romani, female overall winner with a time of 1:32:59; Christine Wandhal, female master winner with a time of 1:40:30; Patrick Joyce, male master winner with a time of 1:42:01; Jeff Osler, male grandmaster winner with a time of 1:52:05; and Nina Korges, female grandmaster winner with a time of 2:00:36.
The team to come in first was team Enchiladas and Guac with a cumulative time of 1:34:32.
For some, the race was less about the competition and more about the chance to spend time with friends and family, while getting a little bit of fitness in.
Jalissa Daniels, military family member, said she wasn't ready for a half marathon, but was more than happy to come out and support her friends.
"I'm not one to run long distances like that," she said. "I do just fine with a 5K run, but I need some more time to build up to a half marathon, but I'm more than happy to support my friends who want to run in it."
Daniels said it was also a good opportunity to celebrate the diversity of the nation, which can be seen in the faces of the runners in the race.
"Just look at the people who are running," she said. "They're made of up all different races, colors and creeds, and I think that's what's so amazing about our country.
"There is just so much diversity and we really do have to celebrate that," she continued. "It's not just about one culture or even one country, but all the cultures and countries that those cultures came from, and the people that brought them here. Without the diversity we see today, our country would be a very different place -- I like how far we've come."