The Commander's Cup, a quarterly race among the four branches, Army, Marines, Navy and Air Force, kicked off here Thursday afternoon August 21 at the Price Fitness Center Track.
Under sunny skies, DLIFLC Commandant, Col. David Chapman, addressed the service members and began by acknowledging and presenting the West Point Society of the Monterey Peninsula Leadership Award to Lance Cpl. Justin Shrader and Petty Officer 3rd Class , Sabrina Ciaciura. Next, Chapman presented the Naval Academy Leadership Award to Marine Corps Sgt. Kyle Morgan, Petty Officer 1st Class Demian Ford and Tech. Sgt. Wayne Drowns with the Joint Service Board certificates. Finally, Chapman awarded Joint Service Board certificates to Airman 1st Class Jillian Shrader, and once again to Petty Officer 1st Class, Demian Ford. After handing out the awards, Chapman requested all the service members break from rank and gather in a U-shape around him for a pre-race pep talk.
The quarterly race received an unexpected twist when Chapman announced that the four branches would run as two joint male and female teams, instead of the traditional all male and all female teams. This means that each team will consist of four female and four male runners.
Chapman shared a story about Steve Prefontaine, a former American middle and long distance runner who competed in the 1972 Olympics. Prefontaine once said "I might not be the fastest runner today and a lot of people run a race to see who is fastest. I run to see who has the most guts, who can punish himself into an exhausting pace, and then at the end, punish himself even more... To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift."
"Steve Prefontaine's message is what should inspire every runner here today, to give their best no matter which team you are on. One should expect nothing more or nothing less from themselves, just like Steve Prefontaine, no matter if you win or lose, you will have earned it," Chapman told service members.
With thousands of branch members lining the track, race one began. After the first lap the four branches, Army, Air Force, Marines and Navy in respective order were within breathing distance. Things would change quickly; at the end of eight laps it was the Army, then Air Force and Marines challenging for first place, with the Navy well behind.
Race two began with the Air Force setting the pace, leading after five laps. In the end, the Army took over, winning once again, with the Marines coming in second, followed by the Air Force and the Navy.
Race 1: Army, Air Force, Marines and Navy
Race 2: Army, Marines, Air Force and Navy
First Place Army; Second Place Marines; Third Place Air Force; Fourth Place Navy
The Commander's Cup is held every quarter. The next Commander's Cup is scheduled for November, when surely the Marines, Air Force and Navy will try to dethrone the Army!
Story and Photo Credits
Story and photos by Gary Harrington, Mission PAO Specialist
Photo 1: Army runners pose with DLIFLC Commandant, COL David Chapman after being awarded their First Place Trophy's for winning the Commander's Cup here on Thursday, August 21, 2014.
Photo 2: A Marine runner encourages a teammate on during The Commanders Cup race held at the Price Fitness Center track this past Thursday, August 21, 2014.