TORII STATION, OKINAWA, Japan – --
Members of the military community participated in the 5th Annual USO Okinawa Color Blast 5K Fun Run Nov. 18 on Torii Station Beach.
The event was open to all ages and allowed both running and walking. The run helped strengthen community bonds through fun and fitness.
“Some treat the run as a physical challenge while others bring their families to experience the colors,” said Bari Wald, the Okinawa area program manager with the USO. “Either way, the excitement of the event and the smiles of the children are the best things about this. For some, this is a first for them and we want to see them enjoying it.”
The participants ran in a large loop around Torii Station Beach, with water and color stations set up along the route. Volunteers manned these stations to keep the participants hydrated and motivated.
“This is the first time my family and I participated in a color run,” said Sgt. Moises Alaniz, a manpower information system support office analyst with Manpower Information System Support Office 27, Marine Corps Installation Pacific-Marine Corps Base Camp Butler, Japan. “The kids are excited, but I think the best part is the end when we are colored up.”
According to Wald, the 5th Annual USO Okinawa Color Blast 5K Fun Run is used as an annual fundraiser for the USO. The money funds numerous programs and events hosted by the USO throughout the year.
“We are very grateful to the USO, for everything they have done for us, the Marine Corps and many families,” said Alaniz. “They have helped my family through deployments and now they are giving us a good time here on Okinawa, so I’m grateful for them and all they do.”