FORT RILEY, Kan., June 27, 2011 -- The 1st Infantry Division and Fort Riley kicked off Victory Week June 27, 2011, with a four-mile Victory Run on the historic post’s Custer Hill.

Looming clouds and falling rain didn’t deter the Soldiers from participating as approximately 8,000 Soldiers of the "Big Red One" donned their Army physical fitness uniforms and began their stretching. By the time “Old Thunder,” the division’s periodic cannon sounded the start of the run, the weather had cleared and the sun was shining on the division’s Soldiers.

The Victory Run was the opening event of the division’s annual week-long celebration of the Big Red One’s lineage and history.

The run was led by Maj. Gen. William Mayville, commanding general of the 1st Inf. Div. and Fort Riley, Division Command Sgt. Maj. Jim Champagne, Brig. Gen. Randal Dragon, deputy commander for support, and Brig. Gen. Paul Funk, incoming deputy commander for maneuver.

This is the first Victory Week for Mayville and Funk, who recently arrived at Fort Riley, and for Dragon, who was deployed with the division headquarters in Iraq for last year’s celebration.

Rear detachments from deployed 1st and 2nd Heavy Brigade Combat Teams and the 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team represented their organizations by running with the unit’s cased colors.

Celebrations for Victory Week continue throughout the week with various sporting events, a ceremony to honor the division’s Soldiers who have died in the past year, as well as the presentation of the Victory Cup to the unit with the most accumulated points from the sporting events.