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Participants take off from the starting line during the Xtreme Endurance Challenge 12k+ held on Marine Corps Air Station New River on Feb. 6. The X-treme Endurance Challenge 12k+ is part of Marine Corps Community Services Semper Fit Grand Prix races. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Mark Watola /released)

Photo by Cpl. Mark Watola

Xtreme Endurance 12K+ kicks off Grand Prix racing season

6 Feb 2016 | Cpl. Mark Watola Marine Corps Air Station New River

Marine Corps Community Services Semper Fit kicked of the Grand Prix race series with the Xtreme Endurance Challenge 12K+ on Marine Corps Air Station New River Saturday.

The Extreme Endurance Challenge 12K+ is part of the Grand Prix’s trifecta races, along with the St. Patty’s Engineer 5 Mile Challenge and the MARSOC Mud, Sweat and Tears 5 Mile Mud Run.

"The mission of Semper Fit is to provide healthy programs for the base community," said Paul Nilsen, MCCS Lejeune-New River Semper Fit director. "We do recreation, we do races, we have water activities. They’re things that keep Marines interested in having fun and doing things other than the alternatives that aren’t as healthy for them."

The course started at the main fitness center and ran a double loop, past the aviation memorial and ended back to the fitness center. While a different, larger route was originally planned, several days of inclement weather forced a slight change in route for the event.

"(My wife and I) came out here today to have fun, build some camaraderie with friends and do some physical training outside of work, to improve fitness," said Staff Sgt. Jeremy Kinsey, a participant from 8th Engineer Support Battalion. "I enjoyed the various age groups and different types of people and skill levels. It is a competition, but people didn’t treat it like that. We just came out here to have fun."

Prospective participants who missed out on the Xtreme Endurance Challenge don’t have to worry. Semper Fit is holding more Grand Prix races throughout the year.

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