News: GTMO gets a splash of ‘color’
Story by Sgt. Christopher Vann
GUANTANAMO BAY, Cuba - Naval Station Guantanamo runners were revved up for one of the most entertaining events of the year as the Color Me GTMO 5k kicked off its inaugural run, Saturday, March 29, at Cooper Field.
The untimed event had no winners or prizes, but runners were showered with colored powder at stations along the run. And while the participants weren’t trying to get their best times, they were there simply to have a good time. Men, women and children of all ages came out for the opportunity to show their true colors. The Color Me GTMO 5k is about encouraging the fun aspects of fitness.
“I enjoyed the run,” said Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Antoinette Bush, a master-at-arms for Joint Task Force Guantanamo, and participant. “This is my first time doing one of these. It was great!”
More than 500 people participated in the race. The non-competitive, family-friendly atmosphere made for a more exciting time. Runners started the race with a clean, white T-shirt, but by the time participants crossed the finish line, they looked like someone gave a monkey a bunch of finger paints and left him to his own devices.
Stephen Prestesater, community activities director for Morale, Welfare and Recreation, was the leading force behind coordinating the run. “I never had a chance to be in one of these runs, so it was great to put this on,” said Prestesater.” From talking to the different people here on island, I knew this was something that a lot of people had wanted to do.”
Afterwards, there was a party held at the Windjammer, filled with laughter, music, dancing and pizza purchased by USAA.
“I felt this was a great morale boosting event,” said Army Sgt. Maj. Brian Barkins, J4 senior enlisted leader. “I hope that we do more like this in the future. The interaction of everyone involved was amazing, between the runners and the volunteers who were throwing color substances, while we passed by.”