Crowning the 'King of the Hill'

Marine Corps Base Hawaii
Story by Lance Cpl. Nathan Knapke

Date: 01.26.2013
Posted: 02.01.2013 14:56
News ID: 101363
Crowning the 'King of the Hill'

MARINE CORPS BASE HAWAII - The sun peeked over the horizon, lighting the way for competitors to run in Patrol Squadron 9’s annual King of the Hill five-kilometer race, Saturday.

The race, which was part of the 2013 Commanding Officer’s Fitness Series, was open to all military personnel, family members and the public, giving base residents and members of the community an opportunity to compete in an organized running competition on base.

The morning started with contestants warming up at Dewey Square. Runners received their race numbers and ankle bands, embedded with timing chips so an electronic timer could record their official times. When all competitors were ready, 210 runners took their positions at the starting line and waited for an air horn to blow, signifying the race had begun.

The five-kilometer run started at Dewey Square, took competitors around the Officer’s Club, through base housing and up the steep Kansas Tower hill, before ending at Dewey Square. Runners experienced a scenic view of Kaneohe Bay, Pyramid Rock and a 360-degree view at the top of KT hill.

Some parents pushed infant children in running strollers. Older children ran on foot to finish the five-kilometer race.

“This was a great way for my daughter and I to bond during a competitive sport,” said Lt. Col. Timothy Barrett, a Terminal Fury exercise planner with U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific. “She really enjoyed running in an organized race for the
first time.”

Though everyone had their own reasons for participating in the race, many enjoyed the chance to be competitive, perform physical training, or spend time with family members while working up a sweat.

“I hadn’t ran up Kansas Tower hill before,” said Army 1st Lt. Eric Simonson, assigned to the 205th Military Intelligence Battalion on Fort Shafter. “I’m glad I ran because now I know how to pace myself the next time I go up the hill.”

The first and second place male competitors finished neck and neck, ending only four seconds apart. Simonson, the first place runner, finished in 18:34 and Makai Clemons, son of a senior chief petty officer, finished in second place with a time of 18:38.

“I like to run different races that are hard, but fun at the same time,” Clemons said. “I really enjoyed catching up to the first place finisher with 70 yards left and almost passing my competitor for
the win.”

Awards and prizes were given out to participants for completing the race. The top three finishers in each division received awards for their top placements, while a raffle was held for all attendants regardless of their finishing time. Numerous $50 gift certificates to Subway and Starbucks were among the prizes given out after the race.

The next Commanding Officer’s Fitness Series race is the five-mile Combat Logistics Battalion 3 Swamp Romp, held Feb. 16. The six-person team event will lead competitors through the Nuupia Ponds and Fort Hase Beach. Online registration closes Feb. 8 at 4 p.m. The regular entry fee is $140 per team until that deadline.

Late registration is $155 and is only accepted at the Semper Fit Center by walk-in or mail. All entries must be received by 4 p.m., Feb. 13.