IWAKUNI CITY, Japan -- U.S. Marines and sailors from Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Iwakuni and local Japanese residents participated in the Iwakuni Friendship Relay Marathon in Iwakuni City, Dec. 1, 2019.
The marathon is a 1.5km relay course around Go! Go! Field at Atago Hills Sports Complex. The top three teams with the most laps were awarded prizes.
The event is an annual collaboration between MCAS Iwakuni and Iwakuni City. The purpose is to build on an existing relationship and let the participants run in a friendly competition.
Two of the participants were U.S. Marine Corps 1st Lt. Justin Weaver, operations officer of the Provost Marshall Office (PMO) and Lance Cpl. Laura Mueller, military police officer with PMO.
“The reason I came out today is to have a joint relay with the local Japanese to build comradery within the community of Iwakuni,” said Weaver. “It gives us the opportunity to test the capabilities of the locals in sports and athletics.”
Residents from the air station and Japanese locals took part in dressing up in various costumes to differ their team from others such as: a team of pikachus, reindeer and even a tyrannosaurus rex.
Teams got together at the starting line while their teammates waited around the track for the ribbon to be passed to them in order to start running their leg of the relay.
MCAS Iwakuni participated in the international category and placed second to the Japanese team, Namakemono.
Mueller said that the relay marathon was a good workout and more fun than she expected it to be and that she hopes more friendship events like this happen more often in the future.