FORT BONIFACIO, Taguig City – For the second year in a row, the Philippine Army stamped its class in the recently concluded Battalion Run Competition held on Sunday, December 16, at the General Headquarters Camp Emilio Aguinaldo, Quezon City.
The competition is part of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Challenge and one of the highlights of the 77thAFP anniversary gathering all major branches of service.
Clocking 1:5:58, the Army defended its championship title in the 15-kilometer run for the third time since the game’s resumption in 2010.
Trailing behind is the Philippine Air Force with the time of 1:09:55. On the third and fourth place are the General Headquarters and the Philippine Navy, respectively.
Lt Col Leo Peña, Team Army’s Battalion Commander said that Battalion marathon is a very challenging sport especially for the Army whose members came from different field units.
“Teamwork is very important in this game, from the time of preparation to the race itself. The movements should be synchronized in such a way that no one lags behind. The team draws its strength from the leader who dictates the pace of the race,” shared Peña.
He also said that he had to condition his team not only physically but also mentally and spiritually.
“We had some personal sharing among the group and offered our game first to the Lord, second to the Army,” said Peña.
The team took the race seriously training twice a day from 5 a.m. to 8 a.m and from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.
Weekend training activities had to be held during the last two weeks before the competition.
“We only trained for two months as compared to the usual training period of 6 months or more because our members have loads of duties to perform in the field,” shared Peña.
Peña furthered that in leading the team, one has to live by example so that team members would keep high spirits and trust that everyone can cross the finish line.
A simple Thanksgiving Boodlefight and awarding ceremony were held at 5:00 pm on Monday (December 17), in honor to the officers and men who participated in the Battalion Run.
Each of the runners was awarded the Military Merit Medal for their highly meritorious performance.
Army chief Lt General Emmanuel Bautista personally pinned the award to the deserving soldiers.
"You have demonstrated the right attitude and sense of dedication of an Army soldier by doing your best and becoming champions in this competition. Congratulations for a job well done," said Bautista.