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Annual half marathon real family affair

Overall winner grateful for chance to run alongside service members during the annual 13.1-mile event

Published: 11:03AM September 20th, 2012
Annual half marathon real family affair

Staff Sgt. Christopher C. Klutts

Both competitive and casual runners participated in the annual JBLM Half Marathon and 5K Fun Run Saturday. Sean Sundwall was the overall winner with a time of 1:10:08.

Competitive and casual runners alike took to the streets Sept. 15 for the Joint Base Lewis-McChord Half Marathon and 5K Fun Run.

Kathleen Salcedo, the director of intramural sports at JBLM Morale, Welfare and Recreation, coordinated and supervised the race. She said the event started as a memorial run after Sept. 11, 2001, and at 13.1 miles, it is the longest organized run of the year on the installation.

Open to the public, the event was also an opportunity for those from the surrounding area to run inside JBLM’s gates.

“Joint Base Lewis-McChord can’t do what it does, successfully, without the support of the community,” Salcedo said. ”It’s just kind of a hand-in-hand partnership.”

Half-marathon winner Sean Sundwall, an insurance agent from Snoqualmie, Wash., said he appreciated the chance to run with service members.

“I had a lot of time to think about that on the course. What a great country we live in because of the men and women who are on this base and every other base. I’m overwhelmed with gratitude for what they do,” Sundwall said.

Candidates for the JBLM 2012 Army Ten-Miler team also ran the half marathon. Sgt. 1st Class Jason Pidgeon, a special operations recruiter with Team Lewis, Special Operations Recruiting Battalion, is one of eight Soldiers still competing for a spot on the six-person team. For Pidgeon and his teammates, the half marathon was also a time trial.

Not all participants came to compete – some came for the fun of the run.

Many families participated, like Alison and U.S. Army Reserve Sgt. Michael Quinn, both full-time students at Brandman University in Lacey. They took turns pushing a jogging stroller that carried their son Aiden to the finish line. The race was Aiden’s first.

“He’s just getting to the age where he can tag along,” said Michael, a training noncommissioned officer with 191st Infantry Brigade.

A few runners were families in the making. U.S. Army Sgt. Donna Lee Little, an air traffic controller with Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, I Corps, completed the 5K while nearly seven months pregnant.

“I want to show people I can still run,” Little said, while wearing a T-shirt that read “I RUN FOR TWO.”

According to the JBLM Races website, only two more runs are scheduled for this year: the Turkey Trot Nov. 17 and Santa’s Reindeer Dash Dec. 8. Runners interested in participating should call intramural sports at 967-4768 for more information.