BMT: Racing for PT!

My Bib and 4th Place Trophy

One of the fun opportunities that may come up while you’re at BMT is the chance to run in a 5K!  Lackland AFB hosts a number of road races throughout the year, typically around the holidays.  I just Googled “Lackland AFB 5K” and multiple listings came up.

These events are not mandatory, as you’ll have to pay the registration fees out of your own pocket.  The fees are nominal – our race was approximately $15, and benefits went to a local shelter for women and children.  Remember, charitable giving and benefit work is huge in the Air Force, as you’ll document your participation for your EPR (Enlisted Performance Report) when you’re in the operational Air Force.  Almost all of the trainees in my flight participated.  It’s a great way to build motivation in your flight, and challenge everyone to see how their running has improved since they’ve been at BMT.  An MTI at your squadron will be in charge of organizing the participants from your squadron.  As a DC, I collected money from my flight members who were interested in participating and submitted the cash with a roster of our desired t-shirt sizes (sorry, forgot to snap that picture).

The Beach Run came up after we returned from BEAST.  The incentive for many of my trainees was the fact that we got out of regular PT that morning if we chose to do the race, and we jumped at that chance.  Flights can chose to run as a group or run as individuals.  We ended up running as individuals due to the fact that many trainees didn’t want to run the risk of hurting themselves prior to our 7WOT PT eval.  We dressed in our regular PT clothes and ran around the base, ending up at the retreat pad when all was said and done.  Some of the MTIs chose to participate in the race as well, and would encourage runners that were tempted to walk, although it was a fairly stress-free run.  

At the end of the race, trainees sat in flight formation on the retreat pad, and waited for the awards ceremony to begin.  Awards were given to trainees and non-trainees, in a multitude of age groups, as well as to flights and squadrons who ran as a group.  We ended up bringing home three awards to our flight, which was exciting.  I took home 4th place in my age group, a feat I chalk up to being an older trainee.  It’s the only award for running that I’ve ever received, and it was awesome to have my flight and my brother flight yell “DORM CHIEF!” as I jogged up to accept my award.

If you get the opportunity to do a race while at BMT, I highly encourage you to participate!  Racing energy is infectious and can encourage even the most reluctant runners.

Confession – Having recently returned from BEAST, I was used to filling up my canteen from those orange Igloo dispensers.  There happened to be some at the retreat pad after the race, so I went over to fill my empty canteen, only to discover later that I didn’t get water but purple Gatorade!  Having any sort of food or beverage on you (other than water) is scandalous at BMT.  I confessed my transgressions to an element leader and downed my clandestine beverage as quickly as I could.