MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. --
Marines, sailors, dependents and civilian personnel woke up early and gathered in front of Marine Corps Communication-Electronics School building 1831 for the 4th MCCES Fun Run Oct. 19.
For the past two years, the Fun Run has given long distance runners aboard the Combat Center two chances each year to run competitively and stay in shape.
“The Fun Run provides Marines, sailors, dependents and civilians aboard the Combat Center with an opportunity to take part in long distance runs without having to leave the base,” said Don Tolbert, MCCES Fun Run coordinator.
This fall’s run consisted of three simultaneous events, including an individual half-marathon, a five-person team half-marathon and a 10-kilometer race.
“We wanted to give runners a choice by offering more than just one type of race,” said Tolbert.
Tolbert kicked off the event by explaining the rules and showing the participants the paths of the half-marathon and the 10K race.
Following his initial brief, Tolbert lined up with the rest of the runners as Capt. Jason Roberts, MCCES Fun Run officer-in-charge, counted down and marked the beginning of the race.
As the runners embarked on their path, the Marines hosting the Fun Run stayed behind and set up food, water and sports drinks for the return of the participants.
Amy Fauls, owner of Tropical Massage in Yucca Valley, and her staff volunteered to help by offering free massages to each runner as they finished the race.
The first runner to finish the 10K race was Heroides Aguirre with a time of 0:46:25. Following behind him were Bret Bolding at 0:49:14 and Raymond Attaway at 0:49:41.
The top three females in the 10K race were Juana Hamlett at 0:56:19, Jessica Mullen at 1:01:58, and Vilmary Hunck at 1:02:52.
Medals were not only handed out to the fastest three females and males of each race, but to the best in each age group as well.
As the last of the 10K participants made their way to the finish line, anticipation grew among the crowd to reveal the winner of the individual half-marathon.
Kenneth Parisi turned the final corner in the lead and finished with the half-marathon best time of 1:31:58.
“I’m practicing for my first marathon and this was a great opportunity to improve myself and have some fun,” said Parisi. “I hope to qualify for the Boston Marathon, and if I keep running like this, I think I will.”
Parisi was part of the Advisor Training Group team that won the 2007 Commanding General’s Intramural 10K Cross Country Race Oct. 3.
“I just wish my running partner, Master Sgt. Klemmer was here to help us out,” said Parisi.
Master Sgt. Jeff Klemmer was also part of the ATG team, but he chose not to participate in the Fun Run.
Tolbert finished second after Parisi with a time of 1:36:20, and Jeff Daniels took third place at 1:37:47.
The top three females in the half-marathon were Faviola Pamaatz at 1:39:18, Melissa Dowd at 1:53:43, and Kristy Runyan at 2:05:49.
In the end it was Taylor Ivory, David Oneil, Knathan Lefever, John Wheeler and Nicholas Bushing of the Ground Communication Maintenance Section team that took home the trophy with the fastest average half-marathon run time of 1:46:32.
MCCES is scheduled to host another Fun Run in the spring and plans to host a Halloween costume “Ghost Run” next fall as an event of the 6th MCCES Fun Run.