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The runners wait in anticipation for the start of the eight kilometer (4.97 mile) race through the ridges behind the Combat Center’s main side during the 23rd annual ridge run April 30.

Photo by Pfc. Michael T. Gams

Running ridges no easy task

30 Apr 2009 | Pfc. Michael T. Gams

More than 200 pounding feet kicked up dust in the hills behind the Combat Center’s main side April 30 as more than 100 base personnel took off running in the 23rd annual Ridge Run.

The Ridge Run, a race put on by Robert E. Bush Naval Hospital, offered a modest, relatively flat 5 kilometer (3.11 miles) run and a much more strenuous 8 kilometer (4.97 miles) run through the hills that serve as a backdrop for main side.

The competition is broken down into male and female, and by age groups, said Chief Petty Officer Thomas Tennison, the coordinator for the event.

“It’s a great run,” he said. “It tests endurance, navigation skills and willpower.”

Lance Cpl. Luis Nolasco, a travel clerk with the installation personnel administration center who ran the 8 km agreed, saying that it was an intense run, definitely harder up the hills than he imagined.

Nolasco runs his personal fitness test in under 17 minutes, he said, but the course wasn’t at all easy and it was all he could do to keep running up some of the hills.

The winner of the 8 km race for the men was Lance Cpl. Russell Dixon and second place went to Petty Officer 3rd Class Matt Sandlin.

The winner of the 8 km for the women was Lt. Cmdr. Jessica Cowill and second place went to Fabiola Pamatz.

Only a handful of people raced in the 5 km race and the most notable achievement from the race was the Davis family. Capt. Jeremiah Davis brought his 8-year-old son, Clayton, and his 4-year-old daughter, Kaylee, to the 5 km course to run. Both Clayton and Kaylee won their age groups of 25-years-old or under and neither one stopped running during the entire race.

The hospital plans on holding another ridge run next year, Tennison said.

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Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms