Mud and run, probably not your best combination, but for several teams comprised of mega-athletes from March Air Reserve Base, Calif., this was exactly what brought them together to compete in the 2012 Hard Corps, Armed Services YMCA Mud Run at Camp Pendleton, Saturday, June 16. Teams from all over the country met to compete in this event that usually sells out in the first 24 hours of advertising. March members were not out to win top honors, but rather participate in an event that supports the well-being of military families and at the same time, enhance their personal overall physical fitness.
The course was a grueling, 10-kilometers (6.3 mile) trek, made up of steep inclines, mud-laden trenches, low-level crawls and what appeared to be 100 feet-high walls. In actuality, the walls were only 10 feet, but when you are mud-soaked, tired and hot, 10 feet seems like 100 feet. Despite the course conditions, the event brought together 6,500 participants ranging from U.S. Marines, firefighters, police officers, and avid Iron-man style athletes.Lt. Col. Dawn Deshefy, Executive Officer, 452d Operations Group commented, â€œLast year, we participated in the 2011 Mud Run at the Sherriffâ€™s Department, in support of the 452d Air Mobility Wing Company Grade Officer Council and really enjoyed it. This year, we vowed to return, but more competitively driven. We pulled together â€œTeam Sky Godsâ€ to represent the Operations Group. Our aims were to beat our previous time and place higher among other competitors. We may have trained independently, but during the race, we came together as a team.â€
â€œWe are sure to come back next year and with more teams and more runners.Â Events such as this compliment our physical fitness routines and are crucial in building unit, base, and Total Force Integration,â€ said Deshefy.After a full day of non-stop action and all teams having completed the course, the after-party jumped into full swing. Participants, after
taking showers, moved over to the festive part of the event and were met with food, drink and Eighties-Fest music.Tech. Sgt. Kelley Lundrigan, Information Management Technician, 452d AMW, jokingly added, â€œSome of us, who shall be nameless, didnâ€™t do such a great job of overcoming the obstacles and needed some assistance, butÂ ”nevertheless, we still crossed the finish line in true Team March fashion.â€Obstacles were placed inside mud trenches, so runners entered through mud, overcame obstacles in mud and exited through mud. Some of the tunnels were submerged, so contestants had to get creative and even more mud-soaked.â€œI think the most challenging part of the race was the first two miles,â€ said Lt. Col. Antonio Astran, 452d OG, Resource Advisor. We started out running on a steep incline, which I figured was roughly six to eight percent. That took a toll on us early in the race, but we still pushed on. Next were the mud pits, which required a little creativity to successfully navigate, but with endurance and a lot of perseverance, we all made it through.