Sports Branch searching for a few good men and women

17 Nov 2005 | Lance Cpl. Drew W. Barker

The Semper Fit Division of Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune’s Sports Branch is putting together a team of eight harriers to compete at the Marine Corps Cross-Country Championship at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif., Dec. 9.

“We’re very excited about getting a team together for the championship,” said Michael Marion, the Area 2 Fitness Center manager and fitness events coordinator. “This is a great opportunity for us to get some experience running against teams from around the world.”

The team, which will be comprised of eight Marines from Camp Lejeune and Marine Corps Air Station New River, will be issued temporary additional duty orders to Miramar to compete in the events, according to Marion.

“The runners will have the chance to race in either a five- or eight-kilometer race,” said Marion. “And while this is a team competition, they can also try to win one as an individual.”

Teams from all over the Marine Corps will be participating in the championship races, although only one team per installation is allowed and the team is to include five males and three females.

One interesting characteristic of the Camp Lejeune/New River team is while it may include Marines of varying age, rank and experience, it depends on everyone’s best efforts for success.

“We’ve got males and females, officers and enlisted, young and old,” said Marion. “Even the runners who won’t place very high can contribute to the team, and that’s what makes this so great. You run for yourself, and you run for your team.”

Another unique aspect of this event is runners have the opportunity to qualify for the All Marine Corps Cross-Country Team.

“If a runner places well enough or has an excellent time in the race, it’s possible they could be selected to become a member of the All Marine Corps team,” said Marion. “And that is an incredible honor.”

This year’s team may be relatively young and inexperienced, according to Marion, but in cross-country, it’s heart that counts.

“Go out there, and give it your all,” said Marion. “If you do that, you’ll walk away proud of what you’ve accomplished, and no one can ask for more than that.”