News: MCB Hawaii hosts 19th annual Swamp Romp
Story by Lance Cpl. Suzanna Lapi
MARINE CORPS BASE HAWAII - The 19th annual Swamp Romp, held by Marine Corps Community Services, marked perhaps the muddiest day of the year on Marine Corps Base Hawaii, Saturday.
The race, which usually takes place at the end of February, attracted approximately 2,200 participants for a muddy run throughout 30 obstacles created on Nuupia Ponds. The 5.2-mile course included new sections and challenges, said Megan Early, the athletic director for MCCS.
“MCCS and the Marines of Combat Logistics Battalion 3 usually decide the trails of the course,” Early said. “We settled on not incorporating the roads as much this year and made it much muddier than usual.”
Chief Warrant Officer 3 Greg Isaacson, an engineer operations officer with CLB-3, said Marines across all military occupational specialties in his unit assisted in the event.
“About 250 Marines from the battalion were here working the course,” Isaacson said. “We began preparing for the event about three weeks ago with our build and design strategy. We wanted to change it by adding a 20-foot slide and bayonet course. We also wanted to create a challenge for everyone, but not make it too demanding.”
Military members and civilians, many of whom were clad in costumes, rose to the challenge and tackled the muddier conditions.
Members of Team Muskrat said this year’s race was the sloppiest mud run they have participated in so far, but it only spurred them to compete again next year.
Members of Team Hurry Up III, who have participated in the Swamp Romp for the past three years, said the course was “nastier” than last year’s because of the stench, but stated they were “gluttons for punishment” and enjoyed the cruel circumstances.
Team Rippeth sealed a muddy victory as the best of 340 teams, finishing the event approximately five minutes shy of one hour. The top-placing teams received medals, trophies and gift cards, Early said. The last place team finished in over three hours.
The Babe-alicious Mudskateers, spouses of Marines from Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 367, said some of the obstacle challenges that required crawling were difficult, but they were excited to participate.
Isaacson said the Swamp Romp was a good opportunity for the community to understand the Marines that live and work around them.
“This event is an excellent chance for us to reach out to civilians,” Isaacson said. “We wanted to design a challenging course for them to come through and experience some the best aspects of the Marine Corps. It’s the shared misery of a challenge, but people can have fun while competing. We felt it wasn’t too demanding, and there was everyone from younger generations to older generations out enjoying themselves.”
Most participants were covered from head to toe in the mud, but Marines with Aircraft Rescue Firefighting, Marine Corps Air Station Kaneohe Bay, posted near the finish line and treated all to a refreshing hose down. The tired runners felt the relief of completing the race as the mist shone in the afternoon sun.