JOINT BASE ANACOSTIA-BOLLING, D.C. A week-long celebration of the U.S. Navy’s 237th birthday continued Oct. 12, as Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling (JBAB) held its inaugural Navy Birthday 5K and 10K Run/Walk on base with more than 500 participants hitting the streets. Special guests for the occasion included the Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan W. Greenert and Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Mike D. Stevens.
The day began with Navy Capt. Anthony T. Calandra, JBAB base commander, participating in a ceremonial bell ringing and birthday cake cutting outside of JBAB’s Enterprise Hall. By afternoon, it was time for the runners to kick it into high gear. Calandra joined Greenert and Stevens at the Slip Inn Bar and Grill, where both races began and ended, to welcome everyone participating.
The three Navy colleagues agreed the event was a great way to celebrate the Navy’s birthday.
“It’s also the bicentennial of the War of 1812. That’s really where the Navy cut its teeth and got its combat roots from,” Calandra said. “To celebrate with an event like this is fantastic because it builds camaraderie and is physical fitness in great weather. We got a lot of support from the senior leadership of the Navy to hold events like this. Were very thankful of all the support and will continue to support our service members.”
Awards were presented to the top three male and female runners in each of the races.
Jamie Sikora, a program analyst in the office of Naval Research, won the Navy 5K by posting a time of 25 minutes flat. Sikora said she actually found out about the race the night before and figured it would be a nice way to get out of the office for a bit.
“I am so glad I decided to race today,” Sikora said. “It feels great to win. Im extremely proud of my result considering how long I had to prepare. It was very windy and there were a few hills, so I just gave it my best shot. The competition was great and everyone stayed on my heels. That allowed me to keep a good pace.”
While Sikora has participated in her fair share of runs, some service members from other branches participated for the camaraderie and personal motivation.
“This is the first 5K I have ever participated in, said Army Spc. Cameron Cantrell, a network systems maintenance specialist with the White House Communications Agency at JBAB . “My co-workers told me about it and I felt like it was a great idea.”
Cantrell ran the 5K in 25:32 and said he challenged himself to complete the fun run as fast as he could.
“I believe motivation is the key to everything. If you want to be successful in life, motivation plays a huge part in that,” he said. “I motivated myself to participate and I will motivate myself from the start to the finish line. I love staying physically fit, so I chose to go for a fun run with my fellow service members in this beautiful weather.”
Both Greenert and Stevens held a worldwide all hands call for Sailors the day before as part of the Navy celebration. Festivities culminated with a performance by the U.S. Navy Band at the Daughters of American Revolution Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C. two days later.