Making history is something Edwards has become accustomed to and May 17 the base welcomed approximately 500 runners to be a part of another milestone in the base’s first-ever “Run with History” Half Marathon, 10K and 5K run.
The historic run kicked off early morning at 7 a.m. with an F-18 Mission Support Aircraft fly-by from the NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center. The runners then took to the Edwards flightline and continued on to the Rogers Dry Lakebed and on the Edwards runway.
“We wanted to establish a signature event for Edwards while including the historic lakebed. Additionally, it was a perfect opportunity to foster community relations with the public outside Edwards while promoting health and fitness,” said Pete Smith, 412th Force Support Squadron, Edwards Fitness and Sports Center director, and race director for the marathon. “Not everyone gets to run on historic locations like the Edwards lakebed and active runways and see the aircraft that are tested here. That’s what makes our run so unique.”
Of the 500 runners who registered, 462 showed up to run and the event had approximately 200 spectators, according to Smith.
“I decided to participate in the run for many reasons. I signed up because I was interested in exploring a part of the base that I had never seen before, being in the medical clinic you’re not really close to all the planes or flightline, so you don’t really get to see part of what makes Edwards so unique. Seeing it through this inaugural race made me want to be a part of such a special event,” said Airman 1st Class Austin Duncan, 412th Medical Operations Squadron aerospace medical technician, who finished first in the men’s division in the half marathon. “Since I’m also running the San Francisco Half Marathon in July I thought this race would be a good test to gauge how my fitness was coming along.”
To accommodate the more than 460 runners, Smith said it took the colossal support of personnel from the 412th Security Forces Squadron, the 412th Medical Group, the 412th Civil Engineering Directorate, Media Fusion, the 412th Force Support Squadron, the 412th Operations Group, the 412th Safety Office, and various 412th Test Wing organizations.
“Almost every unit on base had a hand in making this Team Edwards event a success,” said Smith. “Without everyone’s involvement it wouldn’t have turned out as well as it did.”
“I wasn’t sure what to expect with this Edwards run because I knew there was limited availability. Overall, I was very happy with the set-up. I thought the course was nice, very interesting and definitely unique. Not many people can say they’ve run on an Edwards flightline,” added Duncan. “I also have to commend the support of those at the water stations and at the medical station. Everything was spaced out so well and the volunteers were really helpful and motivating so altogether I had a really good time.”
As for the next Edwards run, Smith said the date has yet to be determined, but Edwards event coordinators are planning one for next year in order to open the event up to more runners and provide many more surprises for those in attendance.
For more information on individual times and top finish times, go to www.infinitytiming.com.
Half Marathon top finishers
Brooke Allen-Burnstein, Las Vegas, Nev. Time: 01:56:14.89; BIB#: 2056
Airman 1st Class Austin Duncan, Edwards, Calif. Time: 01:27:14.50; BIB#: 2178
10K top finishers:
Abby Brayton-Chung, Lancaster, Calif. Time: 00:46:50.76; BIB#: 142
Koo Justin, Lancaster, Calif. Time: 00:40:55.74; BIB#: 103
5K top finishers:
1. Alasdair Mackenzie; Phelan, Calif. Time: 00:20:46.52; BIB#: 1035 (Top Male)
2. Daniel Hrast, Lancaster, Calif. Time: 00:21:18.41; BIB#: 1114
3. Tracy Jones, Rosamond, Calif. Time: 00:21:56.38; BIB#: 1116 (Top Female)
4. Bryce Davis, Rosamond, Calif. Time: 00:22:30.07; BIB#: 1037
5. Paul Stephens-Green; Tehachapi, Calif. Time: 00:22:48.84; Pace: 07:21; BIB#: 1073