Run Army, it’s your birthday

Runners take off in Fort Meade’s annual Army Birthday 5K Run on Saturday as Pvt. Sidney Perry (No. 162) takes an early lead. Perry finished the run in first place, coming in at 18:03.2. (Photo by Phil Grout)

On a very hot Saturday morning, civilians and service members from on and off the post competed in the Army Birthday Run in support of the Army’s 242nd birthday.

The 5K run and 1-mile walk was part of the annual Fort Meade Run Series.

Runners of the Ready Set Run team from Child and Youth Services gather Saturday at the Pavilion after participating in the Army Birthday 5K Run and 1-Mile Walk. (Photo by Phil Grout)

“The Army Birthday 5K was another great event for the Fort Meade Run Series,” said Beth Downs, sports specialist for the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation. “It was a strong finish to the first three races and will continue back with the Run Series in October.”

Pvt. Sidney Perry of Fort Meade finished in first place, coming in at 18:03.2.

“I like to compete with the other branches, and for it to be the Army’s birthday, I wanted to come out here and win the race for the Army,” said Perry, 19.

Garrison Commander Col. Tom Rickard, along with his wife, Lisa, and 12-year-old daughter Sarah, competed as well.

“My strategy to run this race was to just have fun with my daughter. We ran this one together and had a good time,” Rickard said after the run.

The run began at the Pavilion, headed down to Llewellyn Avenue and from there to Broadfoot Road, Leonard Wood Avenue, Rock Avenue, Chisholm Avenue and back to Llewellyn for the quick turn to the Pavilion.

Among those who participated in the run was Danielle Thunderhawk, wife of Sgt. 1st Class Matthew Thunderhawk of the Asymmetric Warfare Group.

Garrison Commander Tom Rickard congratulates Danielle Thunderhawk, the overall third-place winner who also took first place among women with a time of 19:23.4. (Photo by Phil Grout)

“I didn’t start running until my mid-20s,” she said. “I participated in the [Fort Meade] 5K run last month and I didn’t do as well as I wanted to, so I wanted to come back and redeem myself. I encouraged myself to run this race.”

Thunderhawk redeemed herself by placing first among women and third overall while running a 19:23.4.

The children who participated were just as strong as the adults. One youngster stood out with a great amount of enthusiasm and spark.

Ten-year-old Amanda Allen placed second at 31.40.0 for the 0-10 years old group.

“I felt proud running in the [Army birthday] race,” said Amanda, a distance runner at Manor View Elementary School. “My mom and dad encouraged me to come out and run the 5K.

“I felt like giving up during the race, but when I realized my mom and dad were right in front of me, I knew I could keep going.”

The mile walk started from 6th Street to Chisholm Avenue, trekked down 4th Street to Chamberlin Avenue, then wound its way back to 6th Street.

Army veteran Gene Adorosan, who had been stationed in Fort Meade, said she enjoyed her mile walk.

“It was a pleasant walk,” she said. “There were a lot of fellow walkers. They were pleasant, their kids were out, they talked. It wasn’t a hardship.

After the race, participants attended an awards ceremony for the highest-placed runners who received medals.

Remaining runs in the series include:

  • Tank Corps Joe 5K: Oct. 28, Pavilion
  • Turkey Trot 5K: Nov. 18, Murphy Field House

For more information, call 301-677-3318.

Garrison Commander Col. Tom Rickard gives the Chick-fil-A cow a high-five after crossing the finish line Saturday morning outside the Pavilion. (Photo by Phil Grout)
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