News: Service members host 2nd Hafa Adai 5K Run on Tinian
Story by Cpl. Joseph Karwick
TINIAN, Northern Mariana Islands - Marines and sailors hosted more than a 120 runners in the 2nd Tinian Hafa Adai 5K Run on Tinian Nov. 30, to foster a stronger relationship with the people of Tinian and the service members.
The service members currently on Tinian participating in Exercise Forager Fury II took a break from their daily routine to go on a run with the local community.
FF II is a joint exercise designed to employ and assess combat power generation in a deployed and austere environment.
“Today, I ran a 5K and crossed the finish line first with a time of 19 minutes, 10 seconds, and beat the gentlemen right behind me by a second,” said Lance Cpl. John E. Caulfield, a utilities combat engineer with Marine Wing Support Squadron 171, Marine Aircraft Group 12, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, III Marine Expeditionary Force. “I didn’t come out here expecting to run as fast as I did, but when I saw those in front of me take off I knew I had to go for it.”
Service members were not the only ones running in the event; many local residents came out to join the fun as well.
“Running with the (community members) was a great experience,” said Caulfield. “I saw children about six years old running next to me and even I saw a Marine give over one of the shirts he bought to one of the children who was running next to him.”
The first to cross the finish line from Tinian was Hermes Ramos, 17, who finished with a time of 22 minutes, 30 seconds.
“It was really cool running next to the Marines,” said Ramos. “The way they were joking around before the start and as soon as the buzzer went off they all just took off. I did not think I could run that far, that fast. I definitely didn’t expect to be the first one from Tinian to finish.”
Having the Marines come to Tinian gives people a chance to ask the Marines about their jobs and life in the Marine Corps to help them decide if they want to serve in the military, according to Ramos.
For a few Marines, this event marked the second time they have ran in the Hafa Adai 5K, as they took part during Forager Fury 2012.
“This is my second time doing this,” said 1st Lt. Alex Cloninger, a motor transportation officer with MWSS-171. “We had great help from the police department who blocked off the roads when we needed them too and also guiding the runners on the course.
“The Navy corpsman even set up water stations for anyone who needed it at several points throughout the course.”
The run would not of been successful without the help of Marine, sailor and local volunteers, according to Cloninger.
When the all runners cleared the finish line, the participants taking pictures of one another as keepsakes and headed down to the beach to cool off.
“So many Marines, sailors and local residents came out and helped with a very motivating run,” said Cloninger. “This is the second time we have done this and it keeps getting better and better.”