FORT HOOD — Nearly 200 runners took to the streets of Fort Hood on Saturday, hitting the pavement to remember and honor the nation’s veterans.
“This is a day when we honor our veterans, active duty and retired, both here and abroad. We support them and are them,” said Millie Land, Moral Welfare and Recreation recreation specialist and 23-year Army veteran. “We are one team, one fight.”
MWR conducts 10 races throughout the year from March to December.
As Fort Hood has redesigned its gyms into functional fitness facilities, the dining halls have labeled food based on nutrition, and physical training evaluations have changed, the focus of many at the race was staying physically fit.
“We want to get their fitness levels up,” Land said. “(Running) two miles is the Army standard. If they can run three in this 5k, then they have exceeded the standard.”
Land added that the many runners pushing strollers filled with kids in the race added more resistance and increased the number of calories burned and that adults participating in the race with their children set a precedent by encouraging a healthier, activity-filled lifestyle.
Run Club Coach Brigette Sparks, a physical education teacher at Meadows Elementary School, had 50 to 60 students at the race ready to run.
“We are teaching them the habit of a healthy lifestyle at a young age and they enjoy it. Some will be competitive and some will just have fun,” Sparks said. “I have been running all my life and this is a dream job to be able to pass that on to
Sparks said one parent told her that her son got up early without being prompted because he was so excited about the race.
She said the only other day of the year he does that is on Christmas.
Medals were given for first through third places in the various categories. Race results will be available at http://hoodmwr.com/running_fitness_calendar.htm.