SHARP half marathon sparks community awareness

by Cpl. Yi Jung Uk
U.S. Army

YONGSAN GARRISON -- "Run it, walk it, or ruck it; do your part in the fight to STOP Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault!"

More than 700 runners, walkers and 'ruckers,' regardless of the area they serve in, tightly packed the road in front of the Collier Community Fitness Center to raise Sexual Harassment/Assault Response & Prevention (SHARP) Awareness, USAG Yongsan, April 11.

The U.S. Army Garrison Yongsan SHARP, together with the Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Programs (FMWR) and 65th Medical Brigade, coordinated a shadow run of the renown Austin Half Marathon, celebrating its own SHARP/Austin Half Marathon Shadow Run. The event, celebrating its 2nd time was held in observance of Sexual Assault Awareness Prevention Month (SAAPM).

The 13.1 mile course would've been a tough challenge, but the service members, through months of hard-training and preparation, made it possible. From the garrison commander to the newcomers including privates, all tried their best.

"Of course, preparing for any race takes a fair amount of hard work and dedication. The training leading up for it was challenging, for sure, but doing it with the other runners in my company made it all the better." Said Pvt. Kwon Jang Won, a KATUSA soldier from Headquarters and Headquarters Company, USAG Yongsan.

The marathon recognized a total of 18 awardees, varied by age groups and the type of race they chose. Cpl. Bang Seung Ho, a KATUSA currently serving at KATUSA Training Academy (KTA) at Camp Jackson of Area I, who came in 2nd, shared his remarks of his running experience.

"I don't serve in this garrison-I work at Camp Jackson- but there is a reason for me being here. Unlike the Republic Of Korea (ROK) Army, where exists only male soldiers, the U.S. Army, has different genders serving the country." said Bang.

"That difference seems to be bringing about the programs such as SHARP, and that amazes me. As a KATUSA serving both the ROK Army and the U.S. Army, I wanted to recognize that difference and run with a cause, for SHARP awareness."

The event ended as the final 'rucker' marched down the course. Approximately 700 service members from all over the peninsula had finished their 13.1 mile-race towards a wider SHARP awareness and a better community, a better Army life.

"Just do it!" Said Kwon. "The feeling of accomplishment as you cross the finish line will make all the hard work worth it. I am proud of all the people here, who, together as a team, ran, walked and rucked for a better Army."

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