By Brian Hagberg
50th Space Wing Public Affairs
Forty members of Team 5-0 braved 12 mile per hour winds, mid-50s temperatures, mud, fog and mist to complete the 10th annual half marathon here Oct. 2.
Despite the conditions, nearly everyone who registered for the event participated, and all 40 participants were able to finish.
“We had an impressive 40 participants that not only showed up for, but completed, the 10th Annual Schriever AFB 1/2 Marathon,” said Mark Schuette, Schriever Fitness Center recreation assistant. “The most impressive thing about this number is that these warriors didn’t back down from the challenge of going 13.1 miles in the cold, rainy conditions we experienced Friday.”
Nicholas Ruiz, 2nd Space Operations Squadron, was the first competitor to emerge from the fog, as he crossed the finish line with a time of 1:31:37.
“Yeah, [it was] a perfect day,” Ruiz laughed. “Actually, it made the race a little more enjoyable because you can’t see how far you have to go on the straightaways.”
The race was Ruiz’s first half marathon and, aside from the weather, he couldn’t have asked for a much better performance.
“My goal actually was just to run it as hard as I could,” Ruiz said. “Whether I came in first or last, it didn’t matter, I just wanted to push myself today.”
Ruiz finished nearly four minutes in front of Cody Ott (1:35:23), 50th Civil Engineer Squadron, who recently completed the Air Force Marathon, and five minutes in front of Reid Kaiser (1:36:24), 50th Space Communication Squadron.
Megan Jackson, 50 SCS, was the first female to finish, completing the race in 1:51:58. Kelsey Putnam (2:31:36), 50 SCS, finished second and Jennifer Emerson (2:58:03), 50th Space Wing, took third.
As with most events this summer, the weather impacted the course conditions, creating muddy areas and weighing some competitors down due to the mud caked on their shoes.
“The rain caused some participants to fight against having mud collect on the bottom of their shoes as well as dealing with the aggravation of running with wet socks, shirts and shorts,” Schuette said. “Nobody let these factors defeat them and everybody was able to finish the course.”
“A couple of the straightaways are good, then once you start going uphill you can see some of the mud and you start losing your footing, that’s kind of demoralizing right there,” Ruiz said.
Competitors weren’t the only ones who braved the elements for the event. As with many events on base, the half marathon wouldn’t be successful without the help of volunteers.
“I would like to thank everyone who participated as well as the volunteers, who also braved the weather and were an integral part of making the [half marathon] a success,” Schuette said.
For more information, or to register or volunteer for fitness center events, call 567-6628.