Weather squadron Airmen stay fit with 5k run

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Amber Kelly-Herard
  • 375th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs
What started off as a joke between an instructor and his student led to 18 Airmen from the 15th Operational Weather Squadron running a 5K race March 20 in Lebanon, Ill.

Mike Butrovich, 15th OWS instructor and avid runner, had a running joke with Airman 1st Class Tyreese Clark, 15th Operational Weather Squadron forecaster about who would win in a race.

Airman Clark was formerly on the South Carolina State University track and field team.

Mr. Butrovich said, "I was running a 5K, and I told him if he could beat me, I would buy him a pizza."

Word spread quickly about the challenge and 18 Airmen from the squadron signed up for the race.

At 8 a.m. on race day the group showed up in Lebanon ready to run in the 40 degree weather. Out of 297 runners, Airman Clark placed fifth with a time of 20 minutes and 18 seconds, beating Mr. Butrovich, who came in 20th place.

"Even though I beat Mr. Butrovich, he still did pretty well," said Airman Clark. "So I learned not to underestimate someone because of their age."

The squadron's Physical Training leader, 2nd Lt. Emily Pauly, said, "We don't have group PT, but everyone is required to complete four sessions each month. I told them that if they participated in the 5K, it would count toward two sessions, so many of them signed up."

Another student and race participant, Airman 1st Class Joshua Riggleman, said, "The race really motivated us, we even bought shirts that said 'Old Booch Crew,' and we had a lot of fun."

The slogan on the shirts originated from another race participant, Airman 1st Class Shane Cunningham, who had trouble pronouncing Mr. Butrovich's name.

Some Airmen trained for the 5K individually, while others worked together to encourage each other.

"Every Tuesday and Thursday I ran four miles on the base track and some of the Airmen joined me," said Mr. Butrovich.

Airman Clark said he trained with flight runs and lifted weights.

After the success of the 5K, the squadron plans to continue participating in longer runs and group activities with plans already in the works for a squadron 5K in May, more races and even a softball team.