MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI, Japan — More than 100 Marines and sailors gathered on a hot afternoon to test their strength, endurance, fitness, military knowledge, grammar and even bowling skills as they raced against time during the Amazing Race here May 21.
The Liberty Risk team, composed of Staff Sgt. Ajene M. Webley, utilities chief with Combat Logistics Company 36, Master Sgt. Jason L. Miller, supply chief with CLC-36, 1st Sgt. Michael J. Pritchard, CLC-36 1st Sgt., and Maj. James S. Whiteker, commanding officer of CLC- 36, took home first place and $100 Marine Corps Community Services gift cards after they crossed the finish line with a time of 1:37:29.
Their bonus points earned them an adjusted time of 47:29 overall. The Warheads were close behind with an overall time of 1:28:33 and an adjusted time of 48:33, which earned them $75 MCCS gift cards and the 2nd place title. The Where Is It team came in shortly after, crossing the finish line with a time of 1:49:34 and an adjusted time of 1:14:34.
The race was composed of an estimated six-mile run to 14 different locations on the installation where teams had to work together to overcome mental and physical challenges.
These stations included IronWorks gym, where teams had to search for a ping-pong ball; Building 411 to correct typos on a document; the laundry mat, where teams had to throw a ping-pong ball into cups; and the Auto Hobby shop, where teams had to flip large tires.
“The variety is the best thing about the event,” said Alma Dickinson, health promotions director. “There’s so many things that teams do. Some are very skill based, and some are just silly.”
Each of the 14 stations had a specific obstacle course, knowledge quiz or hunt each team had to complete in order to receive a sticker and run to the next station.
Each team was allowed to ask for a blue sticker in order to skip any two events they chose during the race.
If teams could not complete an activity and already had two blue stickers on their passport, a third blue sticker would cost the team 30 minutes off their total time.
Bonus points were available at designated locations that would allow teams to cut their run time down to an adjusted time, giving them an advantage over other teams.
“The first year that we ran this, the first team that came through the finish line that just got through the activities as quick as possible without taking advantage of those bonuses did not place in the top six,” said Dickinson. “Those bonuses can make a huge difference.”
Exhaustion was apparent on the faces of all the participants but was accompanied by smiles and encouragement for teammates.
“We had fun,” said Cpl. Christopher Rogers, armory chief with CLC-36 and member of the Bums with Guns team. “(Physical Training)’s in there too. It’s good to have camraderie out here and get together with the different units on the base.”
As hard as each team worked to complete each station and quickly run to the finish line, the race did not last as long as expected or as in previous years.
This event encourages people to contribute their good ideas to MCCS.