JOINT BASE BALAD, Iraq - More than 1,000 runners showed up here on Memorial Day to participate in a run taking place in Hunstville, Ala.
No, the runners weren't lost or misguided, they were taking part in a "shadow run" in conjunction with the 31st Annual Huntsville (Ala.) Cotton Row Run May 31.
Off-site shadow, or satellite, runs are unofficial runs supported by a sanctioned event, allowing participants to symbolically be part of the official run by providing the opportunity to participate at distant locations.
"This was my chance to run the Cotton Row Run and have the T-shirt for 2010 when I otherwise couldn't be there," said Maj. Daniel McClintock, Plans and Operations officer, 402nd Army Field Support Brigade, who resides in Huntsville and helped coordinate the Joint Base Balad "shadow" run .
To help bring the runners in Iraq a little "closer to home," the Huntsville Track Club contributed 1,200 Cotton Row Run T-shirts for JBB participants.
"What impressed me was not the run as much as the support of my home town," said McClintock who has participated in the Cotton Row Run three times previously. They didn't have to show the effort they did, especially working through all of the efforts to redesign and meet the DOD requirements that were involved, but they came through. I'm glad to know that the servicemembers are remembered by the people of Huntsville."
A number of 402nd AFSB personnel participated in the run. The 402nd AFSB is the Army's largest brigade with more than 8,100 Soldiers, Department of the Army civilians and contractors.