It's a new twist on an old race. This year, The Big Wild Life Runs had military men and women overseas participating. They ran a 5k yesterday, and their spouses ran in a relay today.
The Big Wild Life Runs is a set of five different races, and has been going for over 20 years under different race titles according to Sharron Fisherman, race director of the Anchorage Running Club Big Wildlife Runs. However, this year was very different from years past with military spouses participating in the race overseas in Afghanistan.
It all started with Elizabeth Hinson who created the running group Strong Army Spouses. The idea was to help military wives back here in Anchorage to relieve stress while their husbands are on deployment.
Elizabeth Hinson says, “You have to go on with your daily life. The spouses are a great group here they come together and support each other and if they needed to talk or get support we can get that from each other.”
But her group wanted an even closer connection to their loved ones overseas. That’s when they decided to hook up with Fisherman.
Fisherman says, “I feel that our military are very, very special to us, and I knew that we were going to have military that were over there, and we wanted to do something with them.
So together, Fisherman and Hinson planned a run here and a run in Afghanistan for the spouses to do together. It's something they’ve never done before, and it went off without a hitch.
Lt. Col. Brad Hinson says, “I thought it went well. The sponsors back in Anchorage have just been amazing supporting this race.”
Military men and women raced in a 5k yesterday at forward operating base, Salerno, Afghanistan. Not all of the 300-plus participants have spouses here in Anchorage, but everyone got to feel a connection of racing with people back home.
Hinson says, “What a great feeling. You know to know that they’re in the middle of the situation there in but to come together for a short time and just have some normalcy in their life is fabulous.”
Lt. Col. Hinson says, “We’ve got 50 days or so left before we come back home. It’s been a great deployment and a lot of it is because the help that the Anchorage community have given during the deployment.”The number of people running in today's races broke records for the Big Wildlife Runs, with more than 3,300, in large part thanks to the 300-plus military men and women running overseas.