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Horsham AGS fun run succeeds in supporting Wing vision, fun

Military members participating in the 111th Attack Wing Military Color Fun Run toss handfuls of colored powder into the air during the start of the event at Horsham Air Guard Station, Pa., Oct. 15, 2016. The event, a first for the 111th ATKW, was developed and directed by the services flight of the 111th Force Support Squadron. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Timi Jones)

Military members participating in the 111th Attack Wing Military Color Fun Run toss handfuls of colored powder into the air during the start of the event at Horsham Air Guard Station, Pa., Oct. 15, 2016. The event, a first for the 111th ATKW, was developed and directed by the services flight of the 111th Force Support Squadron. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Timi Jones)

Tech. Sgt. Andria Allmond, 111th Attack Wing photojournalist, is covered in colored powder at the conclusion of the 111ATKW Military Fun Run held at Horsham Air Guard Station, Pa., Oct 15, 2016. The event was the first of its kind at Horsham AGS. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Timi Jones)

Tech. Sgt. Andria Allmond, 111th Attack Wing Public Affairs photojournalist, is covered in colored powder at the conclusion of the 111ATKW Military Fun Run held at Horsham Air Guard Station, Pa., Oct 15, 2016. The event was the first of its kind at Horsham AGS. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Timi Jones)

HORSHAM AIR GUARD STATION, Pa. -- Extending beyond the expectations of the services flight that created it, the first-ever 111th Attack Wing Military Color Fun Run held Oct. 15 here had an incredible turnout. With approximately 100 military members in participation, the energy was high and the overall result epitomized esprit de corps.

Events like the military color fun advocate the Wing's vision statement of promoting the culture of mission excellence, meeting Air Force compliance and focusing on Airmen wellness.

111th Attack Wing Commander Col. Howard Eissler said he believes, in particular, that the run is an expression of wellness among 111th ATKW Guardsmen. "Work hard, play hard. It's the way to go," Eissler said.

With the option of either a three-mile run or a 1-mile walk, all partakers started at the gym and made their way around the base, towards the flight line and back to gym. Checkpoints stationed along the route offered participants water and a hefty pelting of colored powder.

111th Force Support Squadron Services Superintendent Senior Master Sgt. Lauren Paul, part of the team that created the fun run, explained that this event is different from the usual military run and why she thinks it yielded so many responses.

"It's not just like a normal 5K," Paul said. "We're going to get people that come out that don't like to run, so that way they can walk. And we're going to get people that come out just because they want the color aspect of it."

In addition to the multicolored incentive, the event offered an opportunity for military members to bond outside of their work environment, while contributing to their physical wellbeing. And that is what the services flight hoped to accomplish.

"The big thing is to promote morale and fitness," Paul said. "We want everyone just to come out and have a good time."

The 111th Medical Group Bioenvironmental Engineering Flight's Airman 1st Class Ryan Sweet expressed why he enjoyed the run and that it was a great way to bring everyone together.

"I think this was a great morale event," Sweet said. "It was awesome! Especially having the Oktoberfest right after to follow, it was great and this all just kind of tied in to a really good event. It was really nice."

Following the run, an Oktoberfest event was held inside the gym where military members and their families could come to enjoy food, beverages and a good time.

Sweet hopes that more events like the military color fun run will happen on base.

"I'd like to see some sports themes going on," Sweet said. "[Units competing against one another] would be fun, like a medical group softball team versus security forces or something like that."

Eissler stated that he was particularly impressed with the amount of support the on-base events have been receiving.

"It's incredible," Eissler said. "I'm always amazed at the amount of people that show up."

But without those who show up, these opportunites for Guardsmen to bond are not possible.

"I just thank the Wing for making it as big as it [was]," Paul said.  "We can come up with ideas all day long, but if the Wing doesn't participate then it doesn't matter. So I'm just glad that the idea [was a huge success]."