DVIDS – News – Thousands Enjoy Fitness, Food and Fun at Sagami General Depot Running Event and Festival

SAGAMI GENERAL DEPOT, Japan – About 7,000 people attended an open running event and festival here on October 2.

This was the first such event at Depot since 2019 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We were very pleased to be able to hold this event safely and successfully for the U.S. Army community in Japan, and for thousands of our friends and neighbors off-post,” said Col. Christopher L. Tomlinson, Commanding Officer. of the U.S. Army Garrison in Japan. “It was simply a wonderful way to promote fitness, celebrate our bilateral partnerships and provide an exceptional opportunity to come together to eat, have fun and be entertained.”

The U.S. Army Garrison Japan Family and Morale, Welfare, and Recreation Directorate has partnered with the Kanagawa Running Association to jointly offer a 13.1-mile half marathon to begin the day, followed by a 16 kilometer (9.9 mile) ‘ekiden’ or relay race in the afternoon.

Runners had to register in advance for the races, but the Garrison also opened the doors to the general public from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. to offer food, musical performances, children’s games and other activities. . Around 2,400 runners registered for the half marathon, while around 1,200 registered for the relay race.

Trojan Horse Battalion cadets from Zama High School’s Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps opened the event early in the morning with a military color guard ceremony, marching the American and Japanese flags on stage before the two national anthems are played.

USAG Japan Command Sgt. Maj. Justin Turner greeted the runners at the opening ceremony, emphasizing that the No. 1 goal was safety.

Turner, along with Assistant Garrison Commander Jenifer Peterson, DFMWR Director Rick Bosch, and MWR employee Rintaro Sato also represented the Garrison in the relay race.

“This is my first open running event, and I was amazed by the turnout, athleticism and enthusiasm of our guests,” Turner said. “We had people up front setting a breakneck pace that I couldn’t hope to keep up with, people in suits and lots of running clubs. The only thing I can say for sure is that everyone looked like they had a great time.

Emergency Services Branch garrison staff; the Department of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security; and the installation’s security office worked closely with doctors from the Japanese U.S. Army Medical Activity and Japanese first responders from the running association and the city of Sagamihara to ensure security of everyone present.

Visitors also flocked to the Fall Festival activities, dancing with various groups, enjoying the food and even just stretching the grass in the sun to recover from the races.

“I am very proud of the entire team and the hard work that has gone into planning, setting up and organizing this event,” said Tomlinson.

Date taken: 10.03.2022
Date posted: 10.04.2022 01:22
Story ID: 430646

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