More than 250 runners participated in JBLM Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreations 2012 race calendar finale Saturday.
The annual Santas Reindeer Dash a 5K, 10K and childrens 2K is a fun run through Eagles Pride Golf Course that ties a ribbon on the JBLM race calendar as the last of the bases nine organized runs of the year. With holiday music playing through the speakers and runners dressed in their best reds and greens, the run kicked off the holiday season.
Seventeen-year-old Thomas Bolt was the 10K and overall winner with a time of 40 minutes, 40 seconds. Michelle Fetzer was the first female 10K finisher in 46:36. Christopher Franke was the first male to finish the 5K in 20:01 while Jodie Lynn Bolt led the womens 5K in 23:13.
The festive annual run was a first for families new to JBLM, including the Aguilar family. Arturo Aguilar and his wife Adrianne, brought the whole family to run their first race in Washington after moving to JBLM in July from Fort Hood, Texas.
We did a lot of runs back at Fort Hood, but it was all flat ground, Arturo Aguilar said. There was no trail running. This is definitely a lot different. And a lot more beautiful.
While his wife and kids ran the 5K, Arturo ran the 10K with a 50-pound rucksack on his back for military training. It was pretty rough going up the hills, he said.
For Collette Scott and Jamil Ellinger, Saturday was also their first run in Washington. Scott, who is a Soldier with the Army Reserves, moved to JBLM in July while Ellinger joined her two weeks prior.
Ellinger is an avid runner and finished the 5K second in the 20-29 age division, but when he crossed the finish line he turned around and ran back to Scott to help push a stroller and finish together.
It was nice to run as a family, Ellinger said.
Familiar faces from the JBLM running community were also present at Santas Reindeer Dash. Jason McKennon was the first 5K finisher at last months Turkey Trot. Hes training for a half marathon on New Years Eve and ran the Santas Reindeer Dash 10K to train on the hills. The Soldier with JBLM Dental Command dressed up his eight first-year residents as reindeer and McKennon pushed his son in a stroller. Once the race started, the runners went at their own pace and McKennon finished second in the 20-29 age division in 51:16.
The first JBLM race of 2013 will be the St. Patty Days 5K/10K run March 16.