TRANSIT CENTER AT MANAS, Kyrgyzstan - Flocks of airmen, sailors, soldiers and civilians here used their down time on Thanksgiving to compete in a five-kilometer "Turkey Trot" race, Nov. 28, 2013.
A total of 106 members participated in the cardio-based event.
"It's a change; a chance to feel like we're not deployed," said Capt. Kyle VanPeursem, 376th Expeditionary Operations Support Squadron flight commander. "Running on Thanksgiving is sort of a tradition where I am from.
"The run makes it feel a little more like home, and helps with the morale and fitness of the Airmen here," added VanPeursem, who is deployed from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, and is a native of Rochester, N.Y. "It was fun."
Whether running for glory or for total fitness, Tech. Sgt. Josh Worch, 376th Air Expeditionary Wing Theater Security Cooperation, noncommissioned officer in charge of humanitarian assistance, said it is all part of staying close as a deployed family, especially during the holiday and winter season.
"These holiday runs give us a chance to get others involved, especially those who are new to the area," said Worch, a Columbus, Ohio, native deployed from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. "We want to bring them in, not only to burn energy, but to have them be a part of our deployed family."
This event attracted many fitness aficionados and enthusiastic runners, all vying to get the most points for their unit in the Commander's Cup.
Each unit is given a certain number of points based on the number of participants in the race and whether they place in their particular age- and gender-based category.
Along with the Turkey Trot, other competitions will continue throughout the year giving out more points. Those points compound quarterly and whoever has the most, will be crowned winner of the Commander's Cup for the quarter.