By Nancy Gould, Hunter Public AffairsMarch 26, 2009
HUNTER ARMY AIRFIELD, Ga. Clear skies and cool morning air was the perfect backdrop for Hunter Army Airfield's first Shamrock 5K Fun-Run, March 21, the first day of spring. More than 120 participants, some pushing baby carriages, gathered at Squires Parking Lot to register and for pre-run warm up and stretches before the 9 a.m. walk/run.
Participants consisted of children and adults; many out for the morning to have fun with their Family Members and others hoped to take home a trophy.
"I love the atmosphere and doing something active," said Sgt. Ramiro Garrido, 703 Brigade Support Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division. Garrido came with wife, Casey, and their one-year-old terrier, Sophie.
"My husband came to run with me," said Casey, admitting that as an inexperienced runner her primary goal was just to complete the race.
Command Sergeant Major Patrick Blair, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Aviation Regiment, Combat Aviation Brigade, ran with wife, Rhonda, and their daughters, Lindsey and Sidney.
"For us it's Family time," said Blair.
But for Rhonda and Sidney it was that and more.
"We're the competitive ones in the Family," Rhonda said. "We want to win."
Also competitive is the race's first-place overall winner, Sgt. Timothy Insley, 260th Quartermaster Battalion, 3rd Sustainment Brigade. His goal was to finish in 17 minutes, 30 seconds. He said he was pleased with his 17 minute, 20-second finish, especially since this was his first run after three weeks of nursing an achilles' injury.
"I wanted to win smoothly (without too much stress) coming off this injury," Insley said.
The Shamrock race was not Insley's first win. For the last two consecutive years, he represented Fort Stewart-Hunter in the Army Ten-Miler, a Morale, Welfare and Recreation fundraiser that supports programs for Soldiers and their Families held annually in Washington, D.C.
The first-place female winner was Capt. Emily Potter, a U.S. Army Forces Central Command Soldier on leave from Kuwait. She took second overall with a time of 18 minutes, 34 seconds. Her husband, a Fort Bragg Special Operations Command Soldier, greeted her at the finish line and the two left immediately for Beaufort, S.C., where Potter would compete in her second race of the day.
At the conclusion of the race, Eli Wilson, Tominac Fitness Center director who organized the event, presented awards to the top three finishers in each age category.
A special award was given to Spc. Joseph Volz, 603rd Aviation Support Battalion, CAB, for wearing the most festive St. Patrick's Day attire during the fun-run. He accepted a certificate for a one-night stay for two from the Inn at Ellis Square in Savannah, along with complimentary cocktails, in the huge green cowboy hat that he wore while running.
"This was the first run I've organized," said Wilson, adding that he is planning another race for the fall. "I think everyone who participated had fun; that's what we wanted."