KHOWST PROVINCE, Afghanistan – In the United States, Thanksgiving is traditionally a time to sit down with family and get stuffed over an extravagant meal. Even far away from family in Afghanistan, soldiers are still treated to a feast.
In an effort to counter the opportunity to gorge on food not often offered, the 344th Combat Support Hospital hosted a Thanksgiving Day 5K run, to “get fit before you feast”.
To encourage participation, the first 191 people who finished the run were given T-shirts designed specifically for the event.
U.S. Army Sgt. John Johnson of Iselin, N.J., 344th CSH medic and the noncommissioned officer in charge of the Turkey Day run said the goal was to “run it off before it piles on.”
The run was planned two months prior to the event, with local businesses in the United States used to help with funding for the shirts.
The top three runners in both the male and female divisions were awarded medals upon completion of the run.
Czarbaranek was the overall winner, coming in at a time of 17:51.
“It was cold, but it’s always fun, though,” said U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Joseph Czarbaranek from San Francisco, Task Force Silver Fox, unmanned aerial vehicle officer in charge, based out of Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. “I’ll always get up for this.”