News: Mafia stirs up dust at half-marathon
Story by Sgt. 1st Class Tina Eichenour
CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait - A running club, formed by running enthusiasts in the 38th Sustainment Brigade, hosted the Kuwait Running Mafia Half Marathon, Feb. 10, 2013, at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait.
The running club was organized when the 38th SB deployed to Kuwait in early October 2012. The club calls themselves the Kuwait Running Mafia. The running club requires members to volunteer for running events, run over 100 miles, and complete a half marathon to become part of the Kuwait Running Mafia.
Approximately 230 participants ran the 13.1-mile course around the base. For some of the participants it was the first time to run in a half marathon.
Chief Warrant Officer 2 Darren Minnemann, one of the founding KRM members, explained that the group has been preparing for months and that the event was a success. “The event itself went off great, and there was great support and turn out. It was a lot of work but very rewarding to see people who had never ran a half marathon complete one.”
More than 40 volunteers helped set-up, provide water and provide support throughout the course. The group prepared for the half marathon since Nov. 2012.
The 38th SB Headquarters Company 1st Sgt Jeramie Baty, another founding member, received support for the half marathon through AT&T Pioneers in Indiana, a professional organization of volunteers from the communications industry.
Chief Warrant Officer 4 Christopher Jennings, one of the founding members, explained the KRM is about improving yourself and other as runners.
“We love to run and one of the greatest rewards is to watch others learn to love running as well as they accomplish things they never thought they could,” said Jennings. “People start to believe they ‘can’ when they see others like them ‘do.’ It is not about who is in front of you or who is behind you, it is about who is inside when you are running.”
Staff Sgt. Ben Hermus said he ran the half marathon 12 minutes faster than the last one he ran in. “It feels great, a sense of accomplishment and to know all the hard work paid off,” said Hermus, help desk technician and member of the KRM.
Currently the KRM has logged over 7,500 miles among 36 members. The group plans on continuing to run more miles and host a satellite of the 500 Festival Mini-Marathon in May in Indianapolis. The running club gets together on Sundays for group runs around the base.
“Sundays are run-days,” said Chief Warrant Officer Moriah Addington, one of the founding members of the KRM. “I love KRM and being part of ‘The Mafia’ has gotten so many people motivated to get out there and run. It has brought the joy and fun of running to so many who previously thought running was just to pass the PT test.”