Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point --
In the cool morning hours of Oct. 26, 2018, 13 10-person teams gathered on Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina, for the annual All-Terrain Unit Competition hosted by Cherry Point Marine Corps Community Services.
The 6-mile race was a relay consisting of five points of challenging obstacles. Two members from each team were stationed at every point and would complete the obstacle when their teammates reached each station. Once all five obstacles were completed, all 10 service members would sprint to the finish line together.
The competition required a variety of skills to include; physical prowess, Marine Corps knowledge, and marksmanship. Stations ranged from shooting targets with paintball guns, to squad pushups while answering knowledge questions about the Marine Corps.
“We wanted to give our military members a different way of exercising,” said Berna Crosby, the special event coordinator for Cherry Point MCCS. “It’s physical and it takes a lot of teamwork, that’s what we’re all about.”
Not only did teams have to focus on overcoming various challenges, they also had to stay cautious of the many zombies hidden throughout the course. The zombies were Single Marine Program volunteers with the goal of terrorizing runners.
Every challenger had two flags draped from their waist contributing to a scoring system. For each flag taken by a zombie, a minute was tacked on to the team's overall finishing time.
According to Cpl. Liamm Rogers, a zombie volunteer and Marine supply administration and operations specialist assigned to Marine Air Support Squadron One, “It was a great time, it was a good team effort on both ends.”
After the last of the teams finished, times were recorded and flags tallied to determine the winner. The first place team, “Alpha Males,” from Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 14, was awarded with a trophy, unique ATUC T-shirts and of course, bragging rights.
“I had a great time,” said Staff Sgt. Kenneth West, a member of Alpha Males, and a fixed-wing aircraft power-plant mechanic assigned to MALS-14. “It was good to get out and get some unit cohesion going, I can’t wait to do it again next year.”