52835258900 4c61ac819a kThe well-loved and long-awaited All American Races return on March 23.

After virtual marathons during the pandemic, the All American Races were opened back up to in-person races last year with an excitingly large turnout. For 2024, Fort Liberty is hosting a 5k and a half marathon with hopes of surpassing last year’s participants and community participation.

Unlike typical marathons that send you through cities or countryside, the All American Races send you past historical landmarks all on Fort Liberty, most notably the 82nd Airborne Division War Memorial Museum. Runners are offered unique courses to showcase Fort Liberty’s infrastructure and facilities that have been carefully curated since the start of Fort Liberty’s All American Races in 2014. They’ve kept their dream of keeping the community happy and healthy through all the races they’ve done in the past decade.

To help encourage new participants and experienced runners alike, all runners will receive a t-shirt, race bib, custom race medal, and a beer/beverage of their choice. After the race, there will be a bounce house for the children to enjoy along with all the entertainment and post-race activities planned. Not only will the kids have something to enjoy, but everyone can enjoy snacks and performances from the 82nd Airborne Division Rock Band.

These races serve as a wonderful celebration of personal accomplishments and a great opportunity for the surrounding community to get involved and work together toward a shared goal.

Amanda Cahill, the Special Events/Run Cell Coordinator for Fort Liberty’s Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation, is excited to hold another in-person marathon after being virtual.
“It’s been great getting the community back together, having the atmosphere, and everyone coming to support and have a great time at the event. It’s been amazing,” she said. “Something that we’re bringing back this year is the Memorial Mile. That is a mile that's lined with soldiers' photos and American flags along the course to honor our fallen service members. We do this in collaboration with the Survivor Outreach Program. We believe it's important to pay tribute to our fallen soldiers and remember their sacrifice. That's always something really cool that's on the route to see. They’ll also pass by the JFK Special Warfare Museum.”

When asked about volunteer opportunities, Cahill responded, “We always love volunteers. We encourage people to come out and volunteer. We have different positions at the start and finish line, they can help pass out medals at the end, and we have water and food at the end that they can help pass out. On the courses, we have our water stations where they can help pass out water. That’s always a great help and we’re always looking for volunteers. If you just want to come out and support and not run, we encourage people to come and cheer on our runners.”

No need to worry if you can’t make it to this event, Fort Liberty holds an annual Ten-Miler in November and a Family Fun Run that starts in April along with Mud Runs!

Running is monumental for good physical health —

strengthening your heart, creating stronger bones and joints, and improving sleep quality. Who wouldn’t jump at the opportunity to run a marathon? Though it seems daunting at first, running a marathon can show you just how capable you are and help set tangible goals.

On top of being great for physical well-being, running marathons is wonderful for maintaining a healthy mental landscape. Running in general increases endorphins and leaves you feeling accomplished and happy. Runners often see improvements in their mood, self-esteem, and overall health and endurance. Now imagine those great benefits mixed with the pride and excitement of completing a race as a team and community. Numerous studies even show that running, specifically long-distance like a marathon, can increase your life span from all the amazing work it does for your heart.

The half marathon will start at 7 a.m. and is $75 for active duty or retired military personnel and $85 for civilians. All runners who complete it within the allotted 4-hour period will receive a finisher medal. Half marathon participants must be 16 years of age or older.

Both races will award the top three men, women, and wheelchair athletes along with age group and team awards. The award ceremony will be at 9 a.m. on race day. Both the 5k and a half marathon are set to start and end at the Main Post Parade Field in Fort Liberty.

The All-American 5k race will begin at 7:20 a.m. The registration fee for active duty or retired military members is $30, and $40 for civilians. The 5k race is open to walkers and strollers, and children in strollers can participate free of charge but will not receive a medal or t-shirt unless they are registered runners.

Runners can come as early as 6 a.m. on race day. The National Anthem will play at 6:52 a.m. Be prepared for major road closures starting at 5 a.m. Parking will be located at Womack Army Medical Center for all runners, spectators, and volunteers.

To participate, runners can register online or attend the packet pick-up in person. All registered runners will receive a packet that contains a race bib, participant shirt, and a tag to get you a free beer or drink of the runner’s choosing. Packet pick-up will be held on March 22 between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. at the Iron Mike Conference Center on Fort Liberty. If you are unable to pick up your packet, you can have someone get it for you if they have a copy of your valid Government-issued ID.

If you are unable to pick up your award on race day, it will be mailed to your home address within 30 days after the final results are posted. Keep in mind that runner packets cannot be delivered.
If you’re a civilian looking to get on post, you can acquire a visitor’s pass at https://bit.ly/4adczjd.

For more information, race routes, volunteer opportunities, and/or to register, visit https://liberty.armymwr.com/programs/all-american-races 

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