Unit Holds Fourth Veterans Day 5k

Airmen run the perimeter of the flight line at the 167th Airlift Wing during the unit's fourth annual Veterans Day 5K run, Sunday, November 7, 2009. The 3.1 mile course winds around the units recently completed aircraft ramp and other newly constructed buildings at the base.

Airmen run the perimeter of the flight line at the 167th Airlift Wing during the unit's fourth annual Veterans Day 5K run, Sunday, November 7, 2009. The 3.1 mile course winds around the units recently completed aircraft ramp and other newly constructed buildings at the base.

Martinsburg, WV -- The 167th came together in a show of thanks to Veterans with a 3.1 mile
run/walk Sunday of November drill.

The Fourth Annual Veterans 5k Fun Run/Walk has become a November drill tradition as Unit members salute our Veterans.

Maj. John Poland said the V5k is the "brainchild" of Master Sgt. Dave Stevens. It was originally intended to be a formation run for just the Civil Engineering Squadron but quickly became a base wide endeavor, he said. For that first run, however, CES ran in formation with a guidon.

"Running as a group, in formation, that camaraderie is the spirit we wanted to represent," said Poland.

That spirit of solidarity showed again this year as members of CE once again ran with a guidon, with different individuals getting a chance to carry the flag.

Poland said the run also gives Unit members the chance to see what is beyond their office walls and get out on the ramp, a place that many individuals rarely have the opportunity to go.

"How many times do most people get the chance to get out on the ramp? It's an opportunity to see what is going on around the base, and it gives you a different perspective. There is a whole base out there, it's not just what is going on in your shop, and this is a great chance to see it on your feet."

Getting the run off the ground every year is a joint effort that includes several organizations on base including the 167th Run Team, CE and Family Readiness. Family Readiness provided the refreshments, which were manned by members of the student flight, and the Fire Department provided first aid stations.

The Run Team has become an integral part of the Fun Run, helping set up and tear down, establishing course directions, and raising awareness about the fitness benefits of running.

An added element to the run is competition, and each year a male and female winner is announced.

The first male runner to finish the course was Staff Sgt. Kris Rata of the Logistics Readiness Squadron with a time of 19:38. The first female runner to finish was Master Sgt. Denise Smearman of the Medical Group with a time of 22:00.