Sailors from DESRON 31 joined other Hawaii-based personnel for the Surface Navy Association's Men's Health Awareness Month "Must Dash" 5K Run on Ford Island at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Nov. 23.
Must Dash run highlights Men’s Health Awareness Month 
In honor of Men’s Health Awareness Month, the Surface Navy Association sponsored a Must Dash 5K run Nov. 23 on Ford Island, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.

More than 200 service members, families and civilians participated in the run.

Rear Adm. Rick Williams, commander, Navy Region Hawaii and Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific flashes the shaka as he runs.
Service members, families and civilians participate in the run.

“I think the Surface Navy Association did a great job in sponsoring this event today,” said Rear Adm. Rick Williams, commander, Navy Region Hawaii and Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific. “It was very easy for this team, with their great relationships and friendships, to rally and come together for a common cause. Fighting cancer is something we’re all concerned about and it was just leadership and common interest that put this together.”

Capt. Wallace G. Lovely, commander, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 31, said the run served to raise money for charity as well as team building for service members.

“Donations were about $2,500 to the cancer society,” Lovely said. “A really great effort. Events like these benefit the charity and second, a close second, it builds camaraderie. It’s what embodies everything that we do. This is an opportunity to get to know the youth, to show them how much fun I’ve had over my career of over 30 years. It’s wonderful.”

Promptly following the playing of Colors, the race began with the participants running down the historic Ford Island runway.

“A lot of people just want to get out[side],” said Lt. Cmdr. Jeremy Watkins, race coordinator. “It’s Hawaii, it’s nice. Why not have a race on a nice Saturday morning and get your day started.”

After all the participants completed the event, awards like fastest time, largest team and most impressive mustache were handed out.

In addition to supporting a cause, Engineman Fireman Apprentice Juan Torres, a participant in the race, said events like the Must Dash serve to challenge one’s fitness and build confidence.

“If you set a goal, like this three mile race, and you finish it, you just feel better,” Torres said. “Pushing yourself physically is just a way to feel more confident.”

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