FORT HOOD — Frigid temperatures early Saturday didn’t stop runners tall and small from gathering at the Abrams Fitness Center at Fort Hood for the annual Holiday Dash 5K Run/Walk.
Mittens, gloves, knit caps and leggings were well in evidence among the participants, as well as festive adornments such as reindeer antlers and Santa suits.
Eric Chavez came out to support his son, Demetrious Chavez, 10, who was running with the Clear Creek Elementary School Run Team.
Demetrious’ grandparents, Mel and Lucy Chavez, also braved the cold to cheer him on.
The Meadows Elementary School Run Team also came out for the event. Coach Travis Reaves admired the students’ resolve.
“They’ve been training for this for eight weeks, running three times a week at school.”
Ysabel Jimenez, 10, of the Meadows team, admitted, “I don’t like the cold,” while stretching with her father, Jessie Hernandez.
Jennifer Ford looked forward to watching her daughter, Janelle, run. Jennifer understands the benefits of the Meadows Run Club.
“It teaches them discipline,” she said, adding that it’s Janelle’s favorite club.
There’s another advantage to the Run Club for her daughter, too, Jennifer chuckled. “It does help wear her out.”
The students sported T-shirts with their school names, and other groups present did likewise.
Team RWB — Red White and Blue — wore unmistakable shirts, and team member Sgt. 1st Class James McMillan even carried a large U.S. flag on the run.
“It’s patriotic,” McMillan said.
Though the only person not there might have been Santa Claus, the holiday spirit was well in evidence, and the run served to warm participants against the cold.