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Hanson, Pullins shine in rain at JBLM 5-10K

Elite runners tops in 10K men’s, women’s divisions; Shannon Swords, Mia Mercer, 11, best in 5K event

Scott Hansen/JBLM PAO Mia Mercer, 11, left, keeps pace with Chris Chua, middle, and Terrence Jewell as she nears the finish line during the annual JBLM St. Patty’s Day Run March 17.

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Even in the midst of gray skies with snow and rain fall, a small section of Joint Base Lewis-McChord was brightly decorated in green March 17.

From eyelashes to moustaches, kilts, tutus and glasses, nearly 600 people dressed in green participated in the annual St. Patty's Day 5K and 10K run on Lewis Main.

"We have the option to dress up in women's clothes without being judged," Wesley King said.

King and three of his friends were just a few of the many participants who dressed over the top for the festive run. King dressed in a tutu while the others wore green T-shirts, necklaces and hats. The race was a chance for participants to wear anything, but King's friend Ian Wright, ran the race more so for the clothing perk.

"I wanted the free T-shirt," he said.

The cold and wet weather changed the minds of about 100 pre-registered runners who did not attend. But for those who braved Mother Nature, their festive outfits crossed the finish line wilted from the rain.

"They should have just called this the mud run," a participant on their way to the start line said.

JBLM Intramural Sports Coordinator Kathy Salcedo was still pleased with the overall turnout of the opening race. About 60 people still registered the day of the race.

"Usually the weather dictates how well participated we will be the day of," she said. "That was highly unusal but nice."

The race marked the first St. Patty's Day run for Jacqueline Gettler. The 24-year-old was not discouraged by the weather when she woke up the day of the race.

"It's like this every day," she said. "I'm going to have fun."

Gettler finished 42nd overall in 24:09.

One spectator noted the weather was the best runners were going to get for the start of the running season.

Elite runners were dispersed among the family-friendly crowd complete with dogs and strollers. Sabine Pullins chose the St. Patty's Day run as her first race of the season.

Pullins was the first female and fourth overall runner to finish the 10K with her time of 39 minutes, 39 seconds. Steven Hanson led the 10K field with his finish in 37:47.

The majority of the participants ran the 5K race, led by Shannon Swords' first place time of 18:17. Eleven-year-old Mia Mercer was the first female to cross the finish line in the 5K in 21:50.

More online

The 2012 race calendar resumes June 16 with the first installment of the Triple Threat Triathlon Series at Shoreline Park on Lewis North. For more information or for St. Patty's Day Run results, visit

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