By Sgt. 1st Class Manuel Torres-Cortes, U.S. Army North PAOMay 24, 2010
FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas - Soldiers from U.S. Army North and Fort Sam Houston ran a 26.2-mile marathon in a torrential downpour May 15 at Corpus Christi in honor of the men and women who have served in the Armed Forces.
With 2,356 six-member teams involved in this year's 35th Annual Beach to Bay relay marathon, finishing it in the top 15 percent of competitors was a feat in itself; the five runners from U.S. Army North, along with a teammate from Brooke Army Medical Center, finished in 372nd place overall.
"The event was a very positive and inviting experience," said Maj. Armando Valdez, plans officer, international military affairs, Army North. "The rain was off and on during the second leg of the run. But by the end, it was pouring down so I knew that I had to finish strong because my teammate was waiting for me."
The marathon relay consisted of a total distance of 26.2 miles, beginning on North Padre Island, winding through Corpus Christi Naval Air Station and ending at Cole Park along Corpus Christi's scenic downtown area.
With each member running a distance between 4-4.7 miles, the Fort Sam Houston team finished with a time of 3 hours, 58 minutes, beating last year's time by 27 minutes despite the weather.
"The weather was horrible," said 1st Sgt. Ramon Gomez, first sergeant, Headquarter and Headquarters Company, Army North. "We still have fun though."
According to the National Weather Service's Precipitation Analysis website, Corpus Christi received between 4 to 6 inches of rain during the marathon.
In 1976, U.S. Naval Commander John Butterfield organized the event to honor men and women in the military during Armed Forces Day. Quickly, it became a yearly event honoring military and law enforcement members and begun to raise thousands of dollars for charities to include Special Olympics and the Navy Relief Society, according to the marathon's website.
This particular marathon has been organized by military units deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The units ran the race in Tikrit and Marez, Iraq, in 2009.
For more information visit on the Beach to Bay Relay Marathon, visit: