MARINE CORPS BASE HAWAII --
Hundreds of runners from Marine Corps Base Hawaii and the local community showed up for the annual Surf & Turf 5k run March 29, 2014, but for four individuals, this was their first time participating in a race as a family.
Zoie Harrison, 8, and her brother Junior, 10, ran the sandy course with their parents, Jodie and Robert, a Marine with 1st Battalion, 12th Marine Regiment.
“As long as they want to run, we will be out here running with them,” Jodie said. “We didn’t know it was going to be that far, but they did good and (Junior) kicked butt.”
The Harrisons were one of many families who came out to run. The Surf & Turf 5k was an individual-effort activity, but served as a fun run for members to enjoy the beaches on base.
Many volunteers from 1st Bn., 12th Marines came out to help with the run, including helping with set-up, breakdown and guiding runners. Partnering with a tenant unit is a new development for the race. Last year, the Single Marine & Sailor Program worked with Semper Fit staff on the event. The change prompted more Marines to compete. A total of 314 runners registered, nearly double the amount of attendees last year.
The run began at the Officers’ Club and brought participants through the Kaneohe Klipper Golf Course, along North Beach and back. Runners completed the race running beneath two M777 Howitzers crossed over the finish line.
Bill Conner, with U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific, ran the race for the scenic views. Because of his upcoming permanent change of station, it will be the last race he runs in Hawaii.
“It’s what I’m going to miss about Hawaii,” Conner said. “It was right along the beach. The run was beautiful.”
Lt. Col. Michael Roach, battalion commander for 1st Bn., 12th Marine Regiment, spoke to the participants after the race, saying events like the Surf & Turf 5k are necessary for morale and cohesion during a time of war.
“We are still at war,” Roach said. “Being at war (overseas) and still having fun (on the homefront) shows our enemies that they have not changed us.”
The next race in the Commanding Officer’s Fitness Series is The Beast 10k run scheduled for April 19. Registration is available now at the Semper Fit Center or online at www.mccshawaii.com/races. For more information, contact Semper Fit at 254-7597.