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Participants stretch before beginning the Tarawa Terrace November Fun Run, Saturday. Participants braved the chill of the early morning to take part in the monthly fun run, which featured a two and a half-mile run and a one-mile fun run option.

Photo by Pfc. Nik S. Phongsisattanak

Tarawa Terrace community fun run provides exercise to all ages

29 Nov 2011 | Pfc. Nik S. Phongsisattanak

Running is one of the most basic types of exercise. It is a part of almost every popular sporting activity, but is it a family activity? For military families aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, the answer is yes.

More than 60 patrons arrived early Saturday morning to participate in the Family Fun Run, hosted by Tarawa Terrace Community Center, aboard the MCB Camp Lejeune Tarawa Terrace housing area.

The November chill didn’t intimidate the families of devoted runners, who donned long sleeves and leggings before they braved the cold.

“We hold these monthly runs throughout the year, and we seem to have more participants on our coldest and hottest runs,” said Lorraine Fuller, a recreation specialist with Tarawa Terrace Community Center, a division of Marine Corps Community Services. “They must really like the challenge.”

The monthly runs start in January with a one-mile run and increases in distance every month. However, for those who do not want to run farther than one mile, the mile-long challenge is always available.

“It’s a great way to set realistic goals and achieve them,” said Fuller. “It’s not like we start them off with a marathon and it works well with the entire family.”

Children of all ages came to the run with their parents. One mother and her two daughters ran the two and a half mile course in less than 25 minutes.

“I’m so proud of you two,” exclaimed the mother as she hugged her daughters at the finish, while a group of onlookers looked amazed at the accomplishment of the trio.

“I think this program is awesome,” said Fuller. “Sometimes we’re working out by ourselves, getting in our routine. But this is a great chance to work out as a family unit.”

Major Michael Skaggs, a tank officer with Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command, ran two and a half miles with his daughter on his back. Even with the extra weight, Skaggs completed the course in less than 24 minutes.

 “You have to finished first,” said his daughter, adding some motivation.

“I like that we’re doing something with the family that’s fitness orientated,” said Skaggs. “It’s never too early to teach kids that fitness is important, and it’s something (families) can do together that’s fun.”

Staff with the Exceptional Family Member Program also joined in on the fun, wearing matching shirts, to help participants promote a sense of community within their housing area.

Both the EFMP and the Tarawa Terrace Community Center encourage units and shops to participate in the monthly runs.

 “The program is a great way to put a marker point on the month where families can get out and exercise with each other,” said Fuller.

The theme for each Family Fun Run changes on a monthly basis. Fuller encourages participants to use the theme as an excuse to get creative, design outfits or come up with their own ways to match the monthly fun run themes.

The next Tarawa Terrace Community Fun Run will be the Reindeer Trot, which will feature a 5K and one-mile option. The Reindeer Trot is scheduled for Dec. 10.

For more information on the Tarawa Terrace fun run calendar, visit or call, 450-1687.