Runners celebrate the Army's 241st birthday at Yongsan

by Story and photo by PFC Cho Yong-hyun
Stripes Korea
The U.S. Army's 241st birthday is June 14, when Soldiers celebrate both the birth of a nation and service to defending this nation. In honor of this day, U.S. Army Garrison Yongsan held the Army Birthday 5K Fun Run or Walk event, June 11, at Collier Field House. The runners gathered at the starting line shortly before 8 a.m. on a cool and sunny morning. 
 
"Welcome ladies and gentlemen to the 241st Army Birthday 5K Fun Run or Walk!" said Bennie Jackson, sports director at USAG Yongsan. "We have over 200 runners today, and I thank all of you for coming out and joining our celebration of the Army's Birthday!"
 
Some runners brought their children and even pets. Skilled runners competed for better times, and others focused on finishing the run. At the finish line, camaraderie amongst all the participants came alive as each runner crossed the finish line. Those who finished enjoyed refreshments as they cooled down. 
 
Soldiers were not the only ones who took part in the 5K.
 
Jack Spilman, a runner from the Seoul Flyers, set a new best record for the men's category, crossing the finish line in 16:40. "I was only thinking about beating Matt the whole time I was running," said Spilman, trying to catch his breath after the run. Matt Clark, a member of the Seoul Flyers, had beaten Spilman in the last half marathon race. "I wasn't going to let him beat me again," he said.
 
"Although I'm not a Soldier, I respect every U.S. Soldier out there around the world serving us and the country with courage and leadership," said Spilman. "It is an honor to participate and help celebrate the birthday."

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