KANSAS CITY, Mo., May 18, 2020 —
There were no aid stations and no trophies were presented; however, the U.S. Army Recruiting Battalion Kansas City found a way to capture road racing’s “community essence” by hosting a virtual 10K April 17.
The 10K was the brainchild of Maj. Timothy Souza, the Kansas City Recruiting Battalion executive officer, who said he’s confident the race will be an annual event.
“I’m not sure what social distancing will look like next year, but the focus on virtual activities is here to stay,” Souza remarked.
LaToya Turner, K.C. battalion HR tech, who turned in one of the fastest female times at 58:10, said she was impressed with the number of people who participated but not really surprised.
“I can find motivation to get out of the house to work out almost every day, but it was super easy today, knowing so many of my co-workers were hitting the streets too,” Turner said.
The event was one of a number of virtual activities coordinated by Souza during the time the battalion staff has been teleworking during the Covid-19 pandemic. Other events include a costume contest and a scavenger hunt.
“As battalion XO, I’m responsible for maintaining the morale of the battalion staff members,” Souza explained. “That can be difficult without having the opportunity to engage people in the hallway, but we have a great group of people here and motivating them is never difficult.”
Prior to race day, Souza posted the 10K details on his Facebook page and reached out to the public affairs office at Ft. Leavenworth to help spread the word. He also contacted Leavenworth KCAUSA chapter leaders who also promoted the event. As a result, Souza was contacted by a number of service members from across the country wanting to know how they could also participate. More than 60 service members and civilians participated in the event.
In the end, Air Force 1st Lt. Seth Thompson, from Beale Air Force Base, turned in the fastest male time at 43:04 and Capt. Brenda Eaton, from the Kansas City Recruiting Battalion, turned in the fastest female time at 57:54. There were no records broken and no one received a call from ESPN, but those who participated were obviously happy to be able to return a little normalcy to their lives, even if only lasted 6.2 miles.