KABUL, Afghanistan — Over 500 U.S. military members, Coalition Forces and civilians participated in a Peachtree Road Race today here at Camp Phoenix.
The parent race is an annual event taking place in Atlanta every Independence Day and boasts the largest participation for any 10K in the world.
The 648th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade’s morale, welfare and recreation committee, lead by 1st Lt. Samantha Frazier, organized the event in conjunction with several other Fourth of July events taking place in the nine bases the unit governs within the Kabul region. The Georgia Army National Guard unit based in Columbus hosted the event as a part of its mission to provide base and camp support of installations within the capital.
The soldiers of the 648th MEB were happy to share the Georgia tradition with participants from Bulgaria, Canada, France, Romania and Poland. Over 70 participants were from Georgia and several were veterans of running the race back in Atlanta.
“I’ve run the race three times back home, and this was like running the whole race up Cardiac Hill because of the 6000 feet altitude,” said 648th MEB member, Capt. Patrick Brewer, referencing the famous incline at mile three of the parent race.
The Kabul race differed from the Atlanta race in several other ways. The course consisted of four laps around the camp in a dryer climate and a temperature of 75 at the race’s start.
“It was nice to hold the race here because it gave the Georgia soldiers a piece of home,” said Frazier. “Many would be running the race at home so it was good to have it here.”
Back in Georgia, Maj. Josie Hobbs a member of the 648th MEB currently working in the rear detachment of the unit was a part of the Kabul race by starting the clock along with them at Atlanta’s official start line, ten hours before the start of the race there.
The race winners were Ryan Hawkins of Glen Hope, Pa., and Blanca Lopez of Lancaster, Calif.