FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- With Hispanic Heritage Month in full swing, Fort Rucker continued its observance Sept. 30 with a run to keep people thinking about diversity while staying in shape.

The installation hosted the Hispanic Heritage 10K and 2-mile fun run behind the Fort Rucker Physical Fitness Center and as people sprinted off the line, some runners were reminded why diversity is such an important part of American culture.

"Having an observance run like this is more than just about people coming together to simply run, but I feel it's a way that brings communities together to take part in something that everyone can enjoy," said Delia Branch, civilian participant. "It's nice to have people from all backgrounds come together because there really is so much you can learn from having a diverse point of view."

Branch, who is an Enterprise native and avid runner, said having common interests with others is what helps people connect, regardless of where they are from.

"I can't tell you how many people I've met from all over the world because of running," she said. "Running is just universal. People from all over the world do it. People from all over the world compete in it, so it makes sense to have something as simple as running to bring people together."

Bringing communities together is the goal of observance months like Hispanic Heritage Month, said Sgt. 1st Class Matthew Castillo, 110th Aviation Brigade equal opportunity adviser.

"We try to do our best as EOAs in the military to bring the community together and show that we're all one team," he said. "And even though we might have different goals, in the end we all just want to be happy and together we can make it better."

"It's important that we all celebrate each other and embrace our differences," added Sgt. 1st Class Ronald Davis, 1st Avn. Bde. EOA. "The more I know about, then the more I understand, and that works both ways. I think the world could use a little more of that."

In addition to the community aspect of the run, Branch said she was happy to be able to take part in a run that presents a bit more of a challenge since most runs in the area don't offer a 10K run.

"I typically have to travel a bit if I want to run in anything greater than a 5K run," she said. "I run all the time and I love taking part in any of the runs here on post, but the 5Ks don't really give me much of a challenge.

"They're a good way for me to keep up with my times and pit myself against other runners, but if I want to improve, I need to go longer distances and challenge myself that way," she continued. "I'm just glad that Fort Rucker hosts these runs, though, because I think that being able to provide fitness-oriented events is good for the public, and to be able to pair that with something that brings people together is just a win-win in my book."