WIESBADEN, Germany - A record number of runners ran around and around the Wiesbaden Kurpark for a good cause Sept. 8-9.
Seventy-one teams turned out for the eighth annual 25-Hour Run, hosted by the Wiesbaden Sports Promotion Association, which raises money to train young athletes in Germany. Among the 1,450 athletes were four U.S. teams -- a joint German-American police team, Wiesbaden Health Clinic, U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden and 485th Intelligence Squadron -- including Soldiers and Airmen, civilians and family members.
Local hero, Chris Wolfe, a U.S. civilian with the 102nd Signal Battalion once again took on the entire 25 hours -- his fourth time -- this year completing 112 laps around the nearly one-kilometer track. He was only exceeded by his rival from last year, Jens Hilpert, who ran 224 laps over the 25-hour period.
"I've been running with the clinic for the last four or five years," said Capt. Ann Gonzales. "Only time I missed it was because I was deployed."
Gonzales and nine other runners with the Health Clinic's Road Hazards team competed for bragging rights against the 19 other competitive teams (which can have up to 10 runners each). The Road Hazards completed 320 laps to claim 14th place out of 20 teams.
The Auto Hollmann-sponsored team was recognized during the awards ceremony on Sunday as the best U.S. team -- having completed the most rounds. Sgt. John Hampton ran the most laps for the team -- racking up 43.
"The team keeps getting better and better. We keep beating our own record," said Gonzales.
Concepcion Plenge, another Road Hazard veteran who completed 33 laps during the run, also praised the efforts of her fellow team members. "It's getting better every year and the support has increased."
The German-American police team was the best community team out of the three Wiesbaden military community fun teams. The Auto Hollmann and Andrews Federal Credit Union-sponsored team turned in 319 laps claiming 21st place out of 44 fun teams. Chad Plenge ran the most laps for the team, completing 24.
Air Force Staff Sgt. Phillip Rictor, team captain with the 485th Intelligence Squadron, contributed 19 laps with his "fun" team (fun teams can have up to 25 team members) and more laps with another team. Rictor, who was running in the 25-Hour Run for the fourth time, said he'd like to try running the entire 25 hours one year.
The Wiesbaden military community Air Force team raised ,600 among its runners which went to support the WISPO charity event. The team, which completed 282 laps, was led by Senior Airman Saleisa Lampkin who finished the run with 33 rounds.
The U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden team, which was sponsored by USAG Wiesbaden's Directorate of Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation, contributed 263 laps, with Carys Behnke putting in the most laps at 20.
The first place competitive team was a German team -- Runners Point -- which finished with 434 laps. Runners from the Schwimmbad Club Wiesbaden ran 423 laps to take first place among the run teams.
Overall sponsors and teams raised ,15,000 during the annual charity event, according to WISPO officials.
For more photos from the run visit the garrison's Flickr page at www.flickr.com/photos/wpao. To see individual results -- visit www.chipzeit.de/ergebnisse/2012090901.aspx.