RIP roaring and ready to go
KADENA AIR BASE, JAPAN -- Participants in the running improvement program woke before sunrise March 18 and gathered at the Risner Fitness Center track as the final step in their eight-week long journey to get faster.
RIP began in 2011 at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, where a group of runners and an exercise physiologist at the Health and Wellness Center determined that there was a need to teach people how to run correctly.
Master Sgt. Derek Allar, 18th Contracting Squadron commodities and services flight section chief, was a founding member of the RIP when it first began at Sheppard AFB and continued his work at Kadena Air Base.
"Part of the motivation to begin RIP was to share my passion for running with others," Allar said. "That motivation has evolved to address a need that exists in the Air Force. The injuries that result from running incorrectly costs the Air Force in lost man hours due to medical treatment."
Since the program's beginning in 2011, Allar has been part of 14 different RIP groups, helping hundreds of Airmen improve their running technique.
"I thought when we started I wasn't going to improve at all because I wasn't really a runner," said Airman 1st Class Ethan Paulk, 18th Communications Squadron cyber transportation technician. "I ended up being one of the best in my group. I guess that when you start, you don't really know your potential."
Over the last five years, Allar shared his passion for running as with Airmen who are new to the service, as well as those seeking to improve themselves.
"There is nothing better than helping someone else achieve their goals. People have come to this program after failing PT tests, being in pain, or they just plain hated running," said Allar. "For people to come to this program with those obstacles, and for us to affect the kind of change that helps them overcome those obstacles, it is very rewarding and humbling."
Allar encourages any Airman seeking self-improvement.
"Come see us, we will make you faster."
For more information visit the Kadena RIP face book page at https://www.facebook.com/kadenarunning/