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Airmen 1st Class Matthew Chroniak, 28th Maintenance Squadron nondestructive inspection technician, and Joshua Ray, 28th Civil Engineer Squadron power production specialist, low crawl through mud and water during the 2012 Mud Run at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., Oct. 23, 2012. The 1.5-mile course, which included 10 different obstacles, was designed to promote National Energy Action Month, set aside each year to educate and encourage responsible domestic energy production, energy efficiency, and the development of clean energy and renewable fuels. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kate Thornton-Maurer/Released)
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Airmen sling mud for Energy Action Month

Posted 10/30/2012   Updated 10/30/2012 Email story   Print story


by Airman Ashley J. Woolridge
28th Bomb Wing Public Affairs

10/30/2012 - ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D. -- As the brisk South Dakota wind stole the breath from their chests, 31 adventurous souls braved the elements and 10 mud-covered obstacles to raise awareness for Energy Action Month.

The "Fun (to be done) Mud Run," sponsored by the 28th Civil Engineer Squadron, Oct. 23, challenged participants to contemplate what role they play in Air Force energy while putting their minds and bodies to the test.

Aaron Fielder, 28th CES Resource Efficiency manager, came up with the idea to use a mud run as an interactive way to spread the word about Energy Action Month.

"The mud run was a way to get people out, have fun, and realize that this month is set aside for conservation and renewable energy resources," Fielder explained.

Runners began the 1.5-mile course near the Bellamy Fitness Center before low-crawling under bleachers, spider-crawling through ropes over bridges and finishing the run where they began.

Senior Airman Amanda Diaz Canales, 28th Logistics Readiness Squadron Traffic Management Office outbound counselor, said she enjoyed her first mud run experience.

"I thought it would be fun," Diaz Canales said. "My favorite part was the obstacles - jumping over the high ones and crawling under the low ones."

The mud run, open to all base personnel, featured more than just physical obstacles. Participants were given instructions for the course and were then shown a collection of objects. Little did they know, the amount of items they remembered at the conclusion of the run would impact their completion time.

"We had some mind games to play with the runners," Fielder said. "I wanted to do something different and maybe we can do this every year for Energy Action Month. Anything to make people look back and say, `That was fun and challenging.'"

Aside from rolling around in the mud, runners were also subjected to a quick cardio session. Diaz Canales said certain runners were told to perform burpees, an aerobic exercise that begins with a squat thrust and ends with a jump after the individual returns to a standing position.

"At one point, some of the first sergeants were standing there to ask you a question," Diaz Canales said. "If you didn't get it right you had to do 30 burpees."

Diaz Canales said she thinks events like the mud run are also a good way for co-workers to get to know each other better. "It brings everybody together and makes them work as a team," she said.

Fielder said he was pleased with how the race turned out, aside from covering the fitness center lobby with mud.

"I think everybody had a good time," Fielder said. "Whenever you work out with other people it builds camaraderie and esprit de corps. I think that's important for any organization, especially the military."

As the runners expended their personal energy, Fielder added he hoped wearing "I am Air Force energy" T-shirts kept this year's Energy Action Month slogan on their minds.

"The mud run was meant to increase awareness that October is Energy Action Month," Fielder said. "The run, in conjunction with other events, was part of the base Energy Management Office's sincere effort to educate our energy consumers and produce a result of reduction in energy use and cost for Ellsworth and its personnel."

11/1/2012 12:13:10 PM ET
Thanks everyone involved for the great level of participation volunteerism and enthusiasmNext year it's going to be even better
Aaron Fielder, Ellsworth Energy Management Office
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