FORT HOOD, Texas- Several hundred Soldiers, families and supporters of the 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, participated in its 2nd Annual Mud Run held here May 17.

The event was sponsored by the Armed Services YMCA, along with some local area businesses, and coordinated with Soldiers and officers from the 2nd Bn, 5th Cav. Regt., with the goal of uniting the community with Soldiers and their families.

Lionel Collins, the YMCA director and coordinator of the Mud Run, wanted to show the YMCA's continued support for Soldiers and their families.

"We adopted the 2-5 Cav. and their families," said Collins. "This is our way of honoring the Soldiers and their families for their service to our community and the surrounding areas."

Soldiers and their families were treated to two obstacle courses for the run. Children ran a 500 meter obstacle course through mud, over logs, and a Soldier crafted slip and slide with water and baby oil. Adults ran several events on a 2500 meter course. The highlight of the adult run was Soldiers and their wives in a couples run.

Lt. Col. Tim Karcher, battalion commander, 2nd Bn., 5th Cav. Regt., and his wife, Alesia, ran the couples run along with seven other couples. The St. Louis natives were excited about participating in their first Mud Run.

"It's awesome, what a great turn out," said Karcher. "We have some good mud, some fine weather and some competitive spirit, what more could we ask for'"

Soldiers competed in a platoon run and a single runner event during the afternoon. They wasted no time showing their team spirit as they helped team mates jump the obstacles on the course. The mud pit on the obstacle course was several feet deep and getting out was tough for even the most-seasoned Soldiers.

Soldiers participating in the event got a little more competitive during the platoon and single runner events. Their enthusiasm couldn't be contained during the run when several Soldiers took the time to sling mud and water on their fellow runners at the various obstacles.

Wrapping up the event was the awarding of medals to the children, couples and platoon winners of the events. The event was called a success by Command Sgt. Maj. Richard Franklin, command sergeant major, 2nd Bn., 5th Cav. Regt.

Franklin helped put together the event with the local community sponsors. He expressed his appreciation to the local sponsors who helped coordinate and sponsor the event.

"This is just another thing the YMCA does to show their support for the Soldiers, their families, and the community," said Franklin. "We appreciate them putting on this great event and making so many happy faces."

Those happy faces were treated to energy drinks, water and a variety of other sports drinks along with some fresh off the grill hotdogs and sausage wraps. Event participants snacked before and after the race to keep up their energy and competitive spirit.

Denise Chambers, Susan Mino, and Antoinette Wiggins, all YMCA employees, and Iris Rodriguez with a local business sponsoring the event, tirelessly handed out t-shirts and drinks to participants and their families.

"We enjoy coming out and doing what we can for the Soldiers," said Chambers. "We hope to be here for next year's event."

Collins expressed his hopes for next year's event.

"We hope next year this is a division wide event," said Collins. "We want to make it
bigger and better."