COLUMBUS, Ohio --
Marines with Recruiting Station Charleston refereed the 2009 Arnold Sports Festival annual 5k Pump & Run competition March 8, at the Columbus Convention Center.
About 750 pump-and-run competitors performed the bench press that is supervised by Marines before running five kilometers in the world’s largest pump-and-run competition, said Tim Pancher, co-chairman of the ASF.
“Competitors where complaining about the counting at the first pump-and-run,” Pancher said. “I saw the Marines conducting there pull-ups at their booth and asked if they would conduct the bench press at the pump-and-run.”
Pancher said there hasn’t been a complaint since the Marines took over the bench-press-repetition counting responsibility.
“We handle this pump-and-run like a Physical Fitness Test,” said Staff Sgt. Joseph Lewis, staff noncommissioned officer in charge of Recruiting Sub-Station Circleville, Recruiting Station Charleston.
The Marine Corps Physical Fitness Test is a bi-annual, three-part test of a Marine’s physical abilities for evaluation and promotion.
Encouraging shouts from the Marines and other staff involved could be heard through the convention center during the competition.
“Our job is not only to have accountability, but to show them what the Corps is all about and motivate them,” Lewis said.
The Marine Corps has a certain standing after judging this part of the event.
“(The Marines) have a reputation of physical fitness,” said Jack Pierson, a seven-time pump-and-run participant and the treasurer of Akron, Ohio, schools. “They have standards that people try and keep up with.”
Pierson was one of the higher scoring competitors in the bench press.
“When you think of physical fitness,” Pierson said, “you think of the Marines.”