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Annual 5k run honors sacrifice, promotes family fitness

March Air Reserve Base, Calif. --

Kid Condor, the mascot of the Agua Caliente Clippers, danced to upbeat music as military members and families gathered to participate in the 1st Sgt. Remembrance 5k and Kids’ Run on Sept. 10th, 2019. The energy was high on the bright morning as squadrons in matching morale shirts lined up next to their guidons and runners stretched.

The 1st Sgt. Council sponsors the annual race which honors the sacrifices made by military and civilians on Sept. 11, 2001. Proceeds benefit the Airmen’s Relief Fund, an organization that aids Airmen who face unexpected financial emergencies. The event coincides with the America’s Armed Forces Kids’ Run, a nationwide event whose mission is to share the excitement of running with children.

Capt. Vanessa Long, 752nd Medical Squadron, a veteran of the run, and her sons Liam, 6, and Nolan, 4, waited for the race to begin.

“Each year we would see other kids participating and my sons wanted to run too,” said Long, who explained that since she and her husband are both military, they are intentional about being a fit family and making being active fun.

With the starting horn, children ages 5-13 were off, running from a half to two miles, depending on their ages. Next were individuals followed by squadrons running in formation, displaying esprit de corps while demonstrating their commitment to readiness.

Tech. Sgt. Ronika Calvauzo, 452nd Force Support Squadron, and her daughter Danika, 7, have already ran a few races together. Calvauzo explained that being a member of the Air Force Reserve provided her fitness motivation and valued instilling a regular fitness habit in her daughter. “What is easier than running? You just move your legs.”