Mobility’s Hometown Run Club: why we run

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Jonah Bliss
  • 97th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

In the pre-dawn stillness of Altus Air Force Base, before reveille sounds and the duty day begins, shadows stretch across the ground, hinting at the activities soon to come. Here, under the early morning twilight, the heartbeat of Mobility’s Hometown Run Club comes alive.

From seasoned veterans to those just finding their stride, all are welcomed with open arms to the run club. They are united by their shared joy of putting one foot in front of the other and the feeling of camaraderie. The club meets at Windy Trails Golf Course every Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday at 6 a.m.

Currently, the members share a common goal: competing in the 2024 Air Force Marathon at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. With races spanning from the demanding marathon to the kid-friendly 1K run, there's a challenge for everyone.

Staff Sgt. Benjamin Mantonya, 97th Logistics Readiness Squadron ground transportation operations center noncommissioned officer in charge, is one of the founders of the run club.

“We established ourselves to train for the 2024 Air Force Marathon,” he said, “But more than that, we are here for those who need the accountability and motivation to run.”

Another member of the club is Tech. Sgt. Mario Perez, 97th Training Squadron military training leader.

“We wanted to build team chemistry and find a good, tight-knit running community,” he said.

One activity that the run club enjoys is the 97th Force Support Squadron’s weekend 5K events. Senior Airman Brianna Bradley, 97th Contracting Flight contracting specialist, outlines the advantages these events offer.

“It's good to connect with other runners across base, not just the ones in the run club,” she says. “It's also a good way to get our name out there, because some people still don't know we exist.”

The weekend 5K events are practical in working around some runners’ schedules, as they may be unable to attend the weekday morning runs.

“From the very beginning, we have said that we are here to foster a positive running experience for anyone who wants to improve their running abilities," said Montoya. “Whether folks come for a short time to meet a short-term goal, or a long time for a lifelong habit, we’re here to encourage anyone who wants to better themselves.”

The club isn’t just about logging the most miles or setting new records, it's about the shared journey of staying fit, forging new friendships, and embracing the joy of running.

Whether you're a seasoned athlete or just starting out, know that you're welcome to the club. Don't let doubt hold you back; take that first step and discover the empowering and uplifting community waiting for you.

Together, let's lace up our shoes, chase the sunrise, and make every stride count!

For more information on the run club, contact Darian Bourque at (618) 606-4053.