CAMP KINSER, OKINAWA, Japan --
Cyclists raced up and down the hills of Camp Kinser during a bike race Feb. 18 aboard Camp Kinser.
The race brought the local and U.S. communities across Okinawa together to for a friendly competition.
“I think involving the local community helps to bring everyone together, especially in the spirit of competition,” said Sgt. Ridge Maignan, an automotive maintenance technician with Headquarters Regiment and a road guard for the event. “In times like this you don’t want to quit because you see everyone else pushing, so you keep pushing as well.”
This race marked the first of four bike races held on Marine Corps bases in Okinawa throughout the year. About 130 racers joined together for the event.
“In the cyclist community there are a lot of U.S. members,” said Hideyuki Madomadori, a local participant in the bike race. “It is a good thing the local and U.S. communities can come together for these types of events.”
While both road bikes and mountain bikes were allowed in the competition, their courses were different. Racers on road bikes completed five laps around Camp Kinser’s base for a total of 42 km (26 miles). Mountain bikers completed two laps for a total of 17 km (10.5 miles).
“Okinawa is great for endurance athletics,” said Staff Sgt. Leon Nevins, an explosive ordnance disposal technician with 9th Engineer Support Battalion and a participant in the race. “Whether you’re a runner or a cyclist, the community here is supper strong. You build those little connections and even with the language barriers, the comradery is still there.”