By Jonathan StewartNovember 17, 2011
FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, Md. -- "Let's skip the bake sales, hit the trails and do something good for [the Combined Federal Campaign]!"
With that statement, Brock Webb, a computer engineer with the Defense Information Systems Agency's Office of the Chief Technology Officer, kicked off the promotional campaign for the first annual DISA 5K Trail Run/Walk on Sept. 28.
The event, sponsored by CTO, was a fundraiser for the Combined Federal Campaign which raised $700 toward DISA's 2011 fundraising goal of $500,000.
"Running is something I'm passionate about, and this was an enjoyable event to put together," Webb said. "Ultimately, this was a fun run, but it was great to see so many people come out, give such a great effort and push to the finish. I was privileged to be able to cheer everyone on and celebrate their accomplishments. In the end, we are all winners because we came out and achieved something great together in support of the Combined Federal Campaign.
Prior to the event, Webb worked with a team of volunteers to promote the fundraiser through articles in the agency's internal newsletter, through e-mail solicitations and by hosting a race-entry table in the DISA cafeteria.
No detail went unchecked in preparation for the race. Webb and other volunteer organizers obtained a no-cost sponsorship through Road ID, an organization dedicated to athlete safety that provided official race bibs/numbers for the runners.
Race organizers also ran the course before the event to mark it with ribbons, verify the safety of the trail and ensure a water stop was set up at the midway point of the course.
At 7:45 a.m. an air horn sounded, marking the start of the race for the runners and walkers who gathered behind the DISA headquarters complex. Participants commenced their trek across the gravel trail that enters the woods along Cooper Avenue. They were met by soggy, muddy trails, thanks to the heavy rain and warm, humid temperatures that gripped the region before the race.
As about 60 runners navigated the inclines of the portion of the trail parallel to Rockenbach Road, heavy rain began to fall.
"Trail running is a lot different than road running because the terrain often dictates the pace due to rocks, roots, streams, wildlife and many other unknowns," said Webb, citing the fallen tree and soil erosion in the first mile beside the golf course as examples. "Overall, conditions were very favorable, and I expected both veteran trail runners and walkers, and newbies alike, would have a great experience."
Runners were propelled along the final straight-away and welcomed to the finish line by the cheers of enthusiastic volunteers, who provided water and snacks.
"We were so excited to see the first runner approach the finish line," Webb said.
"The first annual CFC 5K was a fun event," said top female finisher Marie Sakowicz, an information technology customer-support specialist in the Computing Services Directorate. "It was a great opportunity to support CFC and promote wellness."
Participants were asked to donate at least $10 upon registration, and based on the final fundraiser figures, many runners donated more than the requested amount.
"As a new employee of DISA, I was excited to participate in the CFC 5K fundraiser," said Jo Ann Geoghan, a management analyst in the Office of the Inspector General. "For me, the event covered several things: fundraising for a wonderful cause, wellness and employee team-building. Any time all of those things can be addressed in the same event, the event is very successful."
Webb, like the other participants, felt a great sense of accomplishment.
"I'm looking forward to next year where I hope, with more support, we can get even more participation and raise the bar of excellence as pioneers in the first annual 5K," he said.
Top male finishers
* Joshua Volcy, Operations: 21:07
* Danny Alford, Chief Technology Officer: 22:28
* Everett Watson, Network Services: 22:31
Top female finishers
* Marie Sakowicz, Computing Services: 26:48
* Laura Williams, Strategic Planning and Information: 30:29
* Julie Bryant, Network Services: 30:56