Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twetynine Palms Calif. --
The runner climbs the hill with each stride. His feet sink into the sand with each step as he inches closer to the top. His muscles begin to burn but he continues his charge, knowing there will be more terrain to traverse after this moment but still, all he can think of is conquering the hill. Many thoughts cross his mind, but the one that remains the strongest is his reason for running.
Combat Center Marines, sailors and families participated in the annual Remembrance Run hosted by Marine Corps Community Services Sports Division at Desert Winds Golf Course and Felix Field, May 29, 2014.
The run is in commemoration of service members who paid the ultimate sacrifice in conflicts the United States has been a part of throughout its history.
“Its perfect timing to host events like this during the week of Memorial Day,” said Cpl. Romero Fields, combat engineer, 3rd Combat Engineer Battalion. “A lot of men and women have died for us and this country, so anything we can do to remember and honor them feels right.”
The Remembrance Run was split into two separate runs, a competitive eight-kilometer race for individual runners and teams, and a five-kilometer run for families and younger participants. The eight-kilometer course took runners to new areas of the golf course by having half of the distance over sand and steep terrain and the other half over the grass.
“We wanted to give the runners a new challenge this year by adding more of the desert terrain to the course,” said George Schadegg, sports specialist, MCCS Sports Division. “We also learned that the 8k was more enticing toward individual runners. For safety purposes MCCS made the 5k run a separate event hosted on the track at Felix Field.”
Coordinators of the event see the importance events like this. The starting lines of both races were lined with signs which depicted the names of different battles Marines fought in and the year each one occurred.
“It’s a remembrance run for Marines and families to pay respect to those who gave their lives,” Schadegg said. “The signs give insight to all the battles service members have been in.”
To remember those who paid the ultimate sacrifice is to give them eternal life in memory and in the hearts of those they were close to.
“It’s because of the sacrifices of those who came before us that we are still here, so running a few extra miles for them is nothing compared to what they did for us,” Fields said.