Spouses compete in Kadena’s Amazing Race
KADENA AIR BASE, Japan -- Military spouses competed and raced against time in the base-wide Team Kadena Spouses' Amazing Race from Feb. 23-25.
It was a scene of chaos, people running everywhere, franticly searching and shouting with excitement.
Spouses were grouped according to what squadron their service members were from and worked together to see who could complete the challenges the fastest.
"Team Kadena Spouses' Amazing Race gave spouses an opportunity to work together and get to know other spouses within their squadron, or in some cases, spouses from other squadrons," said Trenna Hart, Kadena Amazing Race organizer.
The race began with a flag ceremony and competition, where spouses made flags for their units and linked the history of the units into their creation. The spouses of 18th Maintenance Group won the first stage of the competition.
After the flag ceremony, the first hint was given for the location they needed to find. Herds of spouses could be seen running around the base searching for clue after clue until the next challenge was located.
Some of the challenges consisted of problem-solving skills, tactical tests, aircraft recognition, searching and finding objects and guiding teammates through obstacles.
The challenges were as much physical as they were mental. Driven by competitive spirit, spouses figured out the faster they raced to their location meant the sooner they get on to the next challenge.
"It was very challenging for me," said Amy Jo Selby, 44th Fighter Squadron spouse. "I don't run. I'm very out of shape and I had to run a lot. The most challenging thing was keeping everybody together; level-headed and not freaking out. Like 'This is for fun, this is for fun, don't freak out; everything is fine, we're going to make it, we're going to do it.' I had so much fun!"
All of these events led up to the contestants receiving first and second place prizes, which were silver and gold running shoes. The 961st Airborne Air Control Squadron received the first place prize for the competition.
To conclude all of the events of the race, a dining-in was held for the spouses. This provided them with a chance to socialize without the pressure of the race.
The dining-in also featured a table decorating competition. Teams were given a few supplies to decorate their tables. The tables featured elaborate decorations, each having a link to their respective unit.
Throughout all of the events of Kadena's Amazing Race and dining-in, friendships were formed among the participants and fun was had by all.
"Everyone needs a friend, especially when stationed overseas," said Hart. "We hope that friendships were made during this last week that will carry over into everyday life. People enjoy assignments where they are connected and plugged in. Kadena's Amazing Race was an opportunity to do both."
The bonds formed by the challenges brought the spouses together for a week of fun.
"I think it brings us all together," said Selby. "It shows community, and it shows that we can all work together and be teammates, friends. We made friends with people we never would have met before if it hadn't been for this."
In addition to new friendships; morale and laughter were two of the take-aways from this event.
"The morale couldn't have been higher at the finish line as every team not only waited, but cheered for all 25 teams running in," said Hart. "It was an intense week of figuring out clues, racing to locations, doing silly and sometimes difficult tasks and laughing all along the way."