Several hustled along in full body armor, while others sprinted with their guidon (unit flag), and even some ran donning gas masks. This was the site of the Kandahar Army Ten-Miler Shadow Run that took place this past Saturday around the airfield. It was a unique opportunity to build camaraderie and meet new friends while getting some exercise in as well. Overall, it was an invigorating way to spend the morning. I happened to get off a plane at 0515 and made it to the start line at 0600 just as they were kicking off the run so I hopped right in along with the rest of the crowd.
There was an exceptional turnout as close to 700 people participated. Members from the 655th Regional Support Group did an outstanding job of organizing the event with plenty of clearly marked signs, water points, cheerleaders, and even 80s rock music throughout the course. I was hurting by mile 8, by the unit's support kept me motivated to finish. Of course it was business as usual as all types of aircraft hovered overheard kicking up dust along the path. It was enjoyable nonetheless and definitely helped prepare my mind and body for the marathon I am running stateside in January.
This was a shadow run of the actual Army Ten-Miler which will occur on October 21st this year with 30,000 participants. The following is posted on the ATM website: "Now in its 28th year, the ATM is held annually in October in Washington, DC. Registration fees and sponsor contributions go to support the Army Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) programs. The mission of the ATM is to promote the Army, build espirit de corps, support Army fitness goals, and enhance community relations." This has always been an event I enjoyed so it's great that dedicated volunteers were able to bring the experience here to Kandahar, thousands of miles away from home. Additionally, there are numerous shadow runs not only in Afghanistan but also in places like Kuwait, Korea, and Kosovo for the U.S. military and its supporting partners.
We were all able to pick up our finisher medals this evening so here is a picture of me sporting one proudly. Now, I won't reveal my sad run time here, but I am happy to report that I did not come in last!
Afghanistan Field Rep