Deployed Forces: 524th CSSB hosts concurrent Great Aloha Run in Afghanistan

| February 20, 2010 | 0 Comments

­Story and Photo by Spc. Jay Venturini
Combined Joint Task Force-82 Public Affairs

BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan — In Honolulu, more than 15,000 people lined up for the start of the 26th Annual Great Aloha Run on a clear warm morning, Monday.

Meanwhile, a half a world away in Afghanistan, nearly 500 Soldiers braved a chilly, dust-filled morning to take part in the same event.

More than 500 runners take off from the starting line at the Great Aloha Run in Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, Feb. 14. The eight-mile run was held in conjunction with the annual charity run that takes place in Honolulu every Presidents Day. More than $2,000 was raised by participants in theater to add to the $8.1 million raised for various Hawaii-based charitable organizations during the 26-year history of the run.The 524th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, headquartered at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, hosted the eight-mile charity run, here, to build fellowship amongst deployed service members while raising money for Hawaii-based charitable organizations.

“The run is about coming together as a team, building camaraderie for a good purpose and raising money for charity,” said Capt. Michelle Parlette, commander, Headquarters Company, 524th CSSB.

The run has raised $8.1 million throughout its 26-year history, which has been distributed to more than 150 different charitable organizations throughout the islands.

Through the support of the participants, here, more than $2,000 will be added to that total.

“The response has been great,” said Parlette, a resident of Eagle Point, Ore. “We had 466 people register to compete in the run, with many more coming out just to participate.”

This event is the second time the run has been held at Bagram. The first was hosted by the 25th Infantry Division in 2005.

Since the run was announced several months ago, many participants took time out of their schedules to be physically ready for the eight-mile trek.

“It’s something you have to build up to and prepare for,” said 1st Lt. Ryan Matter, a gun-truck platoon leader with the 267th Quartermaster Company. “This is my third Great Aloha Run, so I kind of knew what to expect. I’ve been doing a lot of running to get ready for it, which is great for my overall health.”

Despite not having the warm, tropical breeze on their backs, the run was a great success for downrange runners, said Maj. Ben Walters, executive officer, 524th CSSB.

“It feels great to come out, do some PT and support the people of Hawaii,  even though we are currently in Afghanistan,” said Spc. Keawanyda Speaks, radio transmitter operator, 524th CSSB, and a Savannah, Ga., native.

“It’s a great event to be a part of,” Speaks added.



Category: Deployed Forces, News

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