MCRD/ERR PARRIS ISLAND, S.C. -- Sweat soaked through their clothing and muscles began to weaken, but each team of Marines from Headquarters and Service Battalion managed to find just enough strength to cross the finish line during the ‘Amazing Race’ held aboard the Depot Sept. 30.
The race, which was put together by Gunnery Sgt. John W. Daniels, operations chief for the Computer and Information Systems Division, required participants to run, bike and swim their way through a series of events in search of various clues that would lead them to the finish line.
A total of 13 teams from around the battalion entered into the race, and each Marine was tested to their mental and physical limits.
For the next four-plus hours, the teams faced a wide variety of obstacles. The teams had to swim 500-meters, sink three free throws, rappel, perform close order drill, fire the 9mm pistol at the Indoor Simulated Marksmanship Training building, drag a 200-pound hose at the firehouse, locate a specific book at the Depot library, stand on the yellow footprints and take an oath of enlistment, tackle obstacles at the Confidence Course and visit a variety of buildings and locations on the Depot.
As each team completed a task, they received a clue that would lead them to another event. The Marines spent the morning running and bicycling across the Depot.
According to Daniels, the reason for putting together such an event stems from a promise he made to his Marines a few months back.
“I promised my Marines that we would never do the same thing twice in a month for [physical training],” he said. “We’d start utilizing the things on base available to us such as the obstacle courses and the confidence course and then once a month, we’d step it up a bit and go kayaking or something adventurous that would give them a workout while having fun.”
The idea for the Amazing Race was originally just going to be an internal CISD physical training session, but once Daniels started going around the Depot, trying to coordinate all the different events with each section, he decided to make the event a little bit bigger.
“Because of the support we had, we offered each section the chance to come out with a team,” said Daniels, who also praised Marine Corps Community Services South Carolina and the Preserves in Port Royal for their hand in making the race an enormous success.
The Property Control branch, the Public Affairs Office, Depot Telephone and Bucket Issue were among the sections that entered teams into the competition, and from the conversations taking place following the race, none of them seemed disappointed.
“It was wonderful and I’d like to see more of it,” said Sgt. Dean McMahan, information assurance, CISD. “I thought a lot of time and effort was put into it. It broke up the monotony of a usual day.”
“The hardest part was going through the confidence course after biking all that time,” added McMahan as he took a rest after his team came in second place.
The Motley Crew, comprising of Public Affairs Marines Gunnery Sgt. Jason Bortz and 2nd Lt. Scott Miller, cruised across the finish line to claim first place.
All in all, Daniels felt the event was a great success and would like to see it continue and grow after he leaves.
“Everyone had fun and some faced some fears, while doing a lot of things that we do as
Marines,” said Daniels.