By Matt Decker
Public Affairs Office
FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. (June 7, 2018) — Runners battled hot and humid conditions as they scaled steep hills, completed multiple obstacles and waded their way through mud pits and the Big Piney River Saturday during the Marines’ 19th annual Volkslauf 10k run.
“All in all, it was a great time,” said Marine Capt. Victoria Crabbe, who served her third and final year as co-coordinator of the race. “We actually had 791 registrations, which is far higher than we’ve ever had the past three years — and we ended with 717 runners. The weather cooperated, and I couldn’t have asked for a better close-out.”
Bryan O’Barr, 15, of St. Robert, won the 17-and-younger male division, crossing the finish line in 54:01. The first female runner to cross the finish line was Jenni Aragon, 30, who was 13th overall with a time of 1:01:30.
Madison Long, 14, won the 17-and-younger female division, finishing with a time of 1:22:59.
Team results were not available at press time, but will be posted here as soon as they are released. Full individual results are available online from Big River Racing.
By design, runners faced more challenges on the course than in previous years.
“We actually have ensured that there are more mud pits than last year. We also added some obstacles that weren’t there last year,” Crabbe said. “Last year, we were excited to see some of the culverts, the monkey bars and the climbing wall. This year, there are some obstacles in between.”
Some runners gave themselves additional challenges.
Bryan Aguilargonzalez, 19, from Houston, Texas, completed the race wearing a helmet and full rucksack, while Zachariah Boehringer, 19, from Conway, Arkansas, ran the course dressed in a unicorn costume.
“I just wanted to be fabulous,” said Boehringer, a Marine student here. He added that the furry, full-body costume and rubber mask made the run “a little bit hot” along the course, where temperatures averaged about 87 degrees.
“I would most definitely do it again,” he said.
Several participants ran as part of groups, including several members of the local Young Marines chapter, runners with Wear Blue and participants with Team Red, White and Blue, who carried on their tradition of carrying American flags along the course.
“It’s just getting together with the group and doing hard things together,” Team Red, White and Blue member Chris Koverman said.
Koverman, an instructor with the 58th Transportation Battalion, carried a flag for the second consecutive year.
“Last year, I would hand off the flag to whoever I had with me when I crossed an obstacle,” Koverman said. “This year, we had two of us carrying the colors, so one of us will hand the flag off to the other while we went through the obstacle, and then we would switch off. It’s a little bit of a challenge. But getting to cross the finish line with the colors — it feels good.”
Crabbe said more than 80 volunteers helped put on this year’s race, which was the result of five months of planning.
“We started planning in February, and planning goes on all the way until the week of the event,” she said. “We have members of our student population who volunteer, as well as members of permanent personnel from all five of our companies, other units on post — and this year we’ve had some civilians who have contacted us to offer to volunteer. So, it really is a local, community event and definitely a sister-service camaraderie event.”
Editor’s note: More photos are available at Fort Leonard Wood’s Flickr page at https://www.flickr.com/photos/fortleonardwood/sets/72157667840757237.