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Training and Education Command

United States Marine Corps
7-mile run motivates depot Marines

By Pfc. Paul W. Hirseman III | | June 11, 2004

MCRD/ERR PARRIS ISLAND, S.C. -- Marines from Headquarters and Service Battalion here participated in the 3rd annual motivational run Friday -- a run designed to boost morale and camaraderie. Marines who participated enjoyed a warrior's breakfast at the battalion mess hall afterwards.

Although the run was much longer than normal battalion physical fitness events, motivation still ran high.

"These events are always a great way to spend some time with my Marines," said Col. George S. Amland, commanding officer, H&SBn. "I don't often get a chance to do something with them, so I always take the opportunity."

Battalion events are often the only way for some officers to interact with younger enlisted Marines, said Lt. Col. Cynthia J. Valentin, executive officer, H&SBn.

Marines who participated in the run said they noticed an atmosphere of fun and friendliness during the event.

"I had a great time out there," said Lance Cpl. Chris Seward, military justice clerk, Depot Law Center. "It's just really motivating to see everybody out there together."

While the distance of the run made it difficult, it was the challenge and the satisfaction of completing the journey that drove the participants all the way to the end, said Capt. Bradley W. Anderson, commanding officer, Headquarters Co..  He also boasted that his company had no run drops.

Marines participating in this event had to prepare both physically and mentally. Over the course of the winter and spring, three-, four-, and five-mile battalion runs had been held in order to prepare the Marines for this event.

To prevent dehydration, the runners slowed down several times for water. Also, the runners ran through an outdoor shower approximately half way through the course to alleviate some of the discomfort from the long run.

Water allowed the Marines' bodies to handle the long distance, but positive energy made the difference in performance.

To make sure motivation remained high during the run, the Parris Island Marine Band
played music throughout the course including "Eye of the Tiger," "Chariots of Fire," and "Ants Marching." As the runners ran down the final stretch, it was the Marines' Hymn that brought them home.

"It was great to see the runners getting into the music," said Sgt. Justin W. Schmidt, trumpet player. "They were doing the whole 'Rocky run-and-punch' thing. It's awesome to see that sort of reaction."

After the sweat-and-water-soaked runners arrived at the H&SBn. physical training field, Amland gave a short speech congratulating the Marines for their accomplishment.

"It was my privilege to share this trying experience with all of you," said Amland. "You all proved your determination and strength this morning."

The Marines who participated in the run met together in the H&SBn. mess hall to enjoy a special warrior's breakfast of steak, eggs, muffins, cereal and other breakfast items. The Marines who were exhausted only a few minutes before, were laughing and talking together.

"It's simply a fun time," said Cpl. Michael J. Molinski, Combat Visual Information Center photographer. "It might hurt while you're doing it, but once you're all done, it's a great feeling."

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