By Scott Prater
U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. — The Air Force Space Command’s year of leadership focus this month is “fitness” and Schriever Airmen have a chance to practice their fitness focus by participating in the fourth Veteran’s Home Run 5K run/1K walk June 27th at Air Academy High School on the grounds of the U.S. Air Force Academy.
The Veteran’s 5K is hosted by the Pikes Peak Road Runners club as part of its summer time running series. But, this event serves a double benefit for Airmen, providing a challenging fitness course, and a chance to contribute to an important military veterans cause.
This run will promote and raise funds for the Crawford House, a Colorado Springs non-profit organization that serves the homeless military veterans of southern Colorado. Its mission is to provide a structured living environment for veterans undergoing treatment for drug and alcohol abuse and help assist homeless veterans in stepping back into the community.
“Our great military folks can take on a fast 5K course and showcase their commitment to fitness and their compassion for veterans, said assistant race director Col. (Ret) Jack Anthony.
Runners start and finish just south of the high school on the scenic Air Force Academy grounds.
“It’s a 5K out and back to the west,” Colonel Anthony said. “What’s neat is the outbound leg is a gentle up hill, runners gain about 80 feet in about a mile and half. Then, once turned around heading back east, it’s a joyful ‘gravity assist,’ your stride opens up and the same gravity that accelerates all those spacecraft in orbit also accelerates the runners back to the finish line.”
Roughly 300 runners and walkers participated in the Veterans 5K last year according to Colonel Anthony, a former 1st Space Operations Squadron commander and one of the founders of the event. All of the local area military installations were represented well, but Schriever had the largest turnout.
Adam Rich won last year’s men’s race in 16 minutes, 10 seconds, while Allie McLaughlin won the women’s event in 18:10. Jacob Heilveil and Dawna Callahan of the Team USA Paralympics wheel chair team participated as well.
Registration and information brochures are available at the Schriever, Peterson, Air Force Academy and Fort Carson fitness centers and at the Pikes Peak Road Runners Web site at www.pprrun.org.
Active duty military members and veterans can register for $15 and others can register for $20 at one of three Colorado Springs running stores (Boulder Running Company, Colorado Running Company or Runners Roost), via the Web site www.active.com or mail in their registration through June 24.
Race day registration opens at 6 a.m. and the start time is 7 a.m. Paralympian wheelchair athletes are welcome.