Competitors embrace warrior’s way during mud run
CAMP HANSEN, OKINAWA, Japan -- More than 2,000 competitors participated in the second annual Bushido Mud Run May 10 at Camp Hansen, Okinawa.
Bushido, a Japanese word, translates to the phrase “way of the warrior,” the theme for the 10-kilometer obstacle race that tested participants’ ability to run through various terrains.
The Single Marine Program sponsored and organized the event, and used responses from last year’s racers to improve it, according to Randy Mitchell, the program manager for the SMP.
“Last year, they came back after the course wanting it longer, tougher, and they wanted more mud,” said Mitchell, a Rochester, N.Y., native. “Judging from the feedback that I got this year, we did it. We gave them what they were looking for.”
While there are similar obstacle race events gaining popularity in the U.S., environmental elements in the Okinawa jungle landscape made this competition unique for participants, according to Mitchell.
“We’ve got clay, mud, jungle and open fields,” said Mitchell. “They are running in a training area and impact areas, and you have beautiful scenery.
“The Tough Mudder and the Spartan runs back in the states have become something folks really like to do. We hadn’t offered our community that in Okinawa until last year. It was something that was missing, and we figured that out. We got it, and we’ll continue to expand upon on it and let this thing grow each year,” added Mitchell.
Competitors experienced the thrill of racing alongside others and sharing their enthusiasm for the event.
“It was challenging, fun, and people were able to get creative with all the matching and crazy outfits,” said Cpl. Jose L. DeLeon, a supply administration and operations specialist with the Provost Marshal's Office, Marine Corps Base Camp Smedley D. Butler, Marine Corps Installations Pacific. “It’s not every day where you can run around and hit mud puddles without people looking at you funny, and this is like a social ‘get dirty’ event.”
At the end of the competition, awards were given to teams as well as individual males and females who placed first, second and third in the competition.
The winners were defined by more than their abilities and training, according to Gunnery Sgt. John G. Bates III, the first place winner in the individual male category and utilities chief with 9th Engineer Support Battalion, 3rd Marine Logistics Group, III Marine Expeditionary Force.
“It’s the competitive nature in me as a Marine,” said Bates, a San Diego, Calif., native. “I cannot run at someone else’s pace because there are not a lot of people who want to push themselves like I push, and I do enjoy racing – that’s where my enthusiasm lies.”
The participants were not only engaged in this year’s event, but were also optimistic for its future, according to DeLeon, a Long Beach, Calif., native.
“It’s a mud run – why not get down and dirty?” said DeLeon. “I would definitely run another Bushido Mud Run.”
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