MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. --
Nearly 600 installation personnel braved the morning cold to participate in the biannual Marine Corps Communications-Electronics
School Fun Run Oct. 30.
The event is held twice each year to raise funds for MCCES functions like the Marine Corps Birthday Ball and encourages its competitors to dress up in costumes, said Don Tolbert, the event organizer and logistics specialist for MCCES.
“We hold this event around St. Patrick’s Day and Halloween,” said Tolbert, a Canton, Ohio, native. “We started this in 2005 and it’s really grown. It’s a great time to come have fun, dress up and enjoy the camaraderie – that’s what it’s all about.”
Participants had the option of running a 5 kilometer, 10K and half-marathon race. The event also welcomed leashed canine competitors.
Sgt. Maj. Michael Gray, the MCCES sergeant major, said the addition of allowing participants to run the race with their dogs turned out to be a big hit.
“This is the first time we’ve allowed people to run with their dogs,” said the St. Louis native. “I believe the winner was a dog rescued from the pound. I think that’s an awesome turnaround; from being put down, to winning races.”
Some participants donned their favorite Halloween costumes like a group of Scottish commoners from the 1995 Mel Gibson flick, “Braveheart.”
Michael Weber, a runner preferably known as “William Wallace,” said he made his group’s costumes on his own.
“It wasn’t hard,” said the Newburg, Ore., native. “I went and got all the fabric, cut it and sewed the buttons on myself.”
Halloween is not the only time of the year Weber dresses up and throws on some blue face paint.
“I started dressing up as Wallace a long time ago,” said the MCCES student. “I usually patrol the barracks as Wallace. Everyone there knows what ‘Wallace Watch’ is.”
Noe Pena finished the 5K first after leaving his competition in a wake of dust and lost hopes.
Due to a timer malfunction, no times were able to be recorded throughout the race.
Eliseo Dominguez crossed the finish line first to win the half-marathon overall, and Faviola Pamatz, placed first for the women’s half-marathon.
After the race, participants were rewarded complimentary snacks and drinks to refuel their bodies. Massage therapists from the local area also provided free massages for those whose muscles needed a little TLC.
“I’d really like to thank Paul Hirsch and Amy Fouts for taking the time to come up here,” said Tolbert about the massage business owners.
The next Fun Run is slated for March. Cpl. R. Logan Kyle