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Camp Pendleton Marines once again got to revel in joy of watching civilians get destroyed by mud
Marcus Nelson Pringle couldn't help but smile Sunday as he waded through waist-deep muddy water.
The 30-year-old Los Angeles County man had just run nearly five miles — facing numerous obstacles — and ended up at the so-called Triple Threat of the annual Mud Run at Camp Pendleton. He walked through a roughly 43-foot mud pool, then jumped over a 5-foot wooden barrier, into another mud pool, got back on land, went into another mud pool, crawled through an 18-foot rubber tube, and then started running again. He had another 1.2 miles to go.
Nelson Pringle is a connoisseur of mud runs, a type of obstacle course race similar to military training, and was participating in his eighth. He said the challenge of mud runs are what keeps him interested and coming back.
"I normally hate running," he said.
Roughly 7,500 people participated in the 26th annual Mud Run on Saturday and Sunday, a rare opportunity for the public to come on one of the nation's largest Marine Corps bases. The run is organized by the Marine Corps Community Services department, with money earned going toward recreational activities for Marines on base and their families.
The route is mostly around Lake O'Neill, a small part of the 125,000-acre base. Away from the track was expansive grass plains showing very little human activity
— a stark contrast to a flurry of excitement around the lake with speakers blaring Survivor's "Eye of the Tiger" and other pump-up songs.
Obstacles included crawling under a camouflage net through mud, climbing over walls, doing lunges and push-ups with Marines looking on and other mud-infused activities. Participants had the option of running a 10K, 5K or a 2K for children 6 to 12 years old. There were more than 300 Marines cheering on runners throughout the course.
"Civilians love to come on base," said organizer Jimi Bertagnoli. "It's great for community relations."
Commanding General's Cup Mud Run Team Competition
U.S. Marines and U.S. Navy Sailors participate in the 26th Annual Commanding General's Cup Mud Run at Lake O'Neill, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California, June 7, 2019. Marines and Sailors ran in groups of five or less to compete in the annual event which was approximately 6 miles and included various obstacles and stations along the way
Private first class Paul Giorgio, 19, had the job of directing runners after the finish line into a Dr. Bronner's washing facility where soap foam was
sprayed on participants and then hosed off by warm water. This took place as Dr. Bronner's employees danced outside the washing station. Giorgio said he was impressed by the Mud Run course, saying it reminded him of his own training.
"Everything on the map looks pretty familiar to me," he said.
Christine Sanchez, 27, of Orange County, crossed the finish line with mud all over her face and clothes. She said the hardest part of the race was not the mud obstacles but running for long distances under the sun. Running conditions were perfect at the start of the 10K in the 60s with overcast skies. But, shortly after the race began, the sun came out and it warmed up to around 70 degrees.
Sanchez had run the race before, in 2014, and was part of group of 20 people from automotive marketing firm Shift Digital. She said last time she was dirty for days.
Her strategy this time was simple: "Just don't look dumb in front of the Marines and don't throw up."
A lot of participants were part of groups. A group of women who know each other from River Run Farms horse training facility in Lakeside all wore green "Be Incredible" shirts featuring Marvel Comics' Hulk. Their game plan was to stick together and not get lost.
"Teamwork makes the dream work," said Sydney Morehouse, 24.
There were plenty of kids ready to get mucky, encouraged by parents, unlike usual. Charlie Williams, 9, of Poway, was wearing a pink outfit with a shirt that said "Superstar" in glitter. She was defiant that no preparation was required for the Mud Run: "We're only kids. We don't have to train."
©2019 The San Diego Union-Tribune. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
NASA is reportedly investigating one of its astronauts in a case that appears to involve the first allegations of criminal activity from space.
Hackers could have breached US bioterrorism defenses for years, records show. We'll never know if they did
The Department of Homeland Security stored sensitive data from the nation's bioterrorism defense program on an insecure website where it was vulnerable to attacks by hackers for over a decade, according to government documents reviewed by The Los Angeles Times.
The data included the locations of at least some BioWatch air samplers, which are installed at subway stations and other public locations in more than 30 U.S. cities and are designed to detect anthrax or other airborne biological weapons, Homeland Security officials confirmed. It also included the results of tests for possible pathogens, a list of biological agents that could be detected and response plans that would be put in place in the event of an attack.
The information — housed on a dot-org website run by a private contractor — has been moved behind a secure federal government firewall, and the website was shut down in May. But Homeland Security officials acknowledge they do not know whether hackers ever gained access to the data.
The State Department doesn't really care if its human rights training for partner security forces is working or not
By law, the United States is required to promote "human rights and fundamental freedoms" when it trains foreign militaries. So it makes sense that if the U.S. government is going to spend billions on foreign security assistance every year, it should probably systematically track whether that human rights training is actually having an impact or not, right?
Apparently not. According to a new audit from the Government Accountability Office, both the Departments of Defense and State "have not assessed the effectiveness of human rights training for foreign security forces" — and while the Pentagon agreed to establish a process to do so, State simply can't be bothered.
A Kansas VA hospital police supervisor reported 'dangerous' deficiencies among his officers. Now he says he faced retaliation
The Kansas City VA Medical Center is still dealing with the fallout of a violent confrontation last year between one of its police officers and a patient, with the Kansas City Police Department launching a homicide investigation.
And now Topeka's VA hospital is dealing with an internal dispute between leaders of its Veterans Affairs police force that raises new questions about how the agency nationwide treats patients — and the officers who report misconduct by colleagues.
A New Mexico woman was charged Friday in the robbery and homicide of a Marine Corps veteran from Belen late last month after allegedly watching her boyfriend kill the man and torch his car to hide evidence.