MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI, Japan -- Marine Corps Community Services Iwakuni hosted the Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni Juu-Gatsu 10km at MCAS Iwakuni, Japan, Oct. 21, 2017.
The event brought American and Japanese locals together to build community relations by introducing a little friendly competition.
“I think to share a common goal and enthusiasm for a sport brings us together,” said U.S. Marine Corps Gunnery Sgt. Chad Holladay, a special security officer with Marine Aircraft Group 12. “My favorite part is seeing the Japanese friends that I have, and some people who I’ve seen from previous events, and sharing a few kind words before and after the event.”
The run helped Americans step out of their role as guests and repay the hospitality the Japanese have given by showing them the air station and the amenities it offers.
“I think anytime we have Japanese come on base it shows our appreciation for their hospitality,” said Stephanie Brown, the MCCS Iwakuni Athletic Director. “It’s also a time we can show them our programs and facilities and return that hospitality.”
Brown also said that it allows the Japanese to try a little taste of America by giving them the opportunity to try food from some of the restaurants on the air station.
Holladay said participating in the 10km wasn’t about winning but about pushing himself while having fun.
“For events like these, it doesn’t matter how fast you run,” said Holladay. “Everyone is going to encourage you, especially the first time runners or people recovering from injuries. I recommend everyone should come to events like this just to say they did it.”