Mud Run brings Corps, community together
By SSgt. Jay Lamborn
| | May 09, 2003
MARINE CORPS RECRUITING STATION COLUMBIA, S.C. --
They came from all over North and South Carolina. Some were military, others law enforcement and even some civilians. They came to get dirty, sweaty, exhausted and sun-baked with mud from the waters of Eastover, S.C.'s muddy rivers.
The 10th Annual United States Marine Corps Ultimate Challenge Team Mud Run was held May 9, 2003 at the South Carolina Army Reserve National Guard's McCrady Training Center, home of the Marines of Company D, 8th Tank Battalion, 4th Marine Division.
he Ultimate Challenge had 275 four-person teams while the 10K Cross Country Challenge and 5K Family Fun Run drew a total of 61 runners.
Since the 2001 running, the team run has more than doubled in size, according to John Hopkins, retired Marine officer and treasurer of the South Carolina Marine Corps Coordinating Council, parent organization of the race.
The largest categories, traditionally, are the open and Junior ROTC categories, he added. This year was no exception as more JROTC programs brought their students to compete for the traveling bulldog trophies in the male, female and coed categories. The team winners were Fort Mill High School, Fort Mill S.C. coed; Chapin High School, Chapin, S.C. male; and T. L. Hanna High School, Anderson, S.C., female.
In the open division, the Dirty Old Men took home the plaque, certificate and dog tags. The Dirty Old Men consisted of Columbia residents Ellis Toye, Jim Kinard, Matt Stanick and Randy Hrecko.
The Homeland Heroes division, comprising law enforcement and fire and rescue personnel, was won by one of the South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division's entry, SLED Dogs.
Team FYIG took the honors in the corporate division and they represented Colonial Life & Accident Insurance Company of Columbia. Their team was comprised of Jack Douglas, Randy Boston, Randy Stober and Tim Bradley.
Taking top honors in the military division was the host unit D Co., 8th Tank Bn., Delta Dogs. The Delta Dogs were led by Capt. Matt Youngblood and consisted of 1st Sgt. Charles Blumenberg, Sgt. James Wilson and Sgt. Jeffrey Townson. The Dogs also took home the overall honors with a time of 41:56.
Captain Bill Brockman, of the Army's 2-28 Infantry Bn. at Fort Jackson, S.C. said with a smile, "This was truly an outstanding event. For once in my Army career, I had something positive to say about (the Marine Corps)."
Among the nearly 1,200 competitors, there was universal praise for doing away with the lottery-style start system and going to a "first-entered, first start" system that cut down the overall crowd and helped everyone enjoy themselves even more.
"In my opinion, everything was perfect from the pre-race information to the post-race wash down and refreshments," said Anthony Oliver, one of the runners. "You guys did a really outstanding job and we greatly anticipate next year's race."
The members of the coordinating council are pleased with this year's results, but still hope to improve for next year.
"While our baby is doing pretty well at 10, they can't wait to see what happens when it turns 11 next year," said Hopkins.
For more photos, visit www.usmcmudrun.active.com.