Family Readiness 5K Run
By Lt Greta D. Lewis, 174th Fighter Wing
/ Published October 12, 2010
Hancock Field Air National Guard Base, SYRACUSE, NY -- On October 9, 2010, the Willow Bay shelter at Onondaga Lake Park was the site of the 1st Annual Hancock Field Family Readiness Program 5K Run.
A total of 206 runners and walkers, some pre-registered, others registered on-site, supported the efforts of the unit, its members and family members. Runners/walkers included Col. Kevin Bradley, commander of the 174th Fighter Wing and his wife, Mrs. Karen Bradley. Col. Bradley said, "We're here to support the Family Readiness Program, because the families play as big a supportive role in our mission as the unit members do. Our members couldn't do their jobs if it was not for the support of the families."
Captain Timothy Martin, of the 174th Maintenance Group, volunteered to be the coordinator of the event, and worked very closely with Mrs. Terry Scanlin, 174th FW Family Readiness Program Coordinator, to ensure that everything ran smoothly. Members of the 174th FW deployed to Afghanistan also participated in a 5K run at the same time, in support of the event, giving deployed members to run with their family members, even while on the other side of the world.
Mrs. Cherie Murphy, President of the New York National Guard Readiness Counsel (NYNGRC), and Mrs. Kathy Williamson, Treasurer, were present as observers/participants during the event. The 5K run was designed as a way to get members guardsmen and family members active in running, as well as raise funds for the organization. The first run took place three years ago in Latham, NY, and averages $8000-$9000 per event. Mrs. Murphy said, "It's a good way to get name recognition, and it would be fantastic if it someday became a national event."
Just prior to the 5K run, there was a 1K Kids' Fun Run, in which small children and parents were able to participate in the event. The high energy of the young ones was motivating as the adults cheered them on. The first place winner of the children's event was Conor McManus, age 9, with a time of 3:29.
At 9:15 a.m. and 5:45 p. m. local time in Afghanistan, the runners (and walkers) took off on the path marked for the 5K route. It didn't take very long before the first runners were visibly heading toward the finish line.
The first runner to cross the finish line was Kevin Collins, YMCA, Director for Running Programs, with a time of 16:04. Mr. Collins, who conducts running groups at the park, had just completed a class when he saw the activity and signed up at the last minute.
The first female to cross the line was Ms. Beth Long, Time Warner Cable Sports, with a time of 19:11. She signed up to support the organization after seeing information about it on the Fleet Week website. Ms. Long said, "It feels good to run something different than the 800." She ran the 800 during her undergraduate courses in North Carolina and cross country for Syracuse University during her graduate years.
The first runner in the Under 19 Division to finish was Travis Chewning-Kulick, 15, who registered for the event when he saw the display at the New York State Fair, finished with a time of 17:22. Travis has aspirations of serving in the military and hopes to attend West Point Academy when he graduates high school.
There are talks of this becoming an annual event for Hancock Field.