Hundreds showed up to trudge through mud for the 20th annual Swamp Romp aboard Marine Corps Base Hawaii Saturday. The event consisted of a 3.5-mile run traversing various obstacles, taking them through Nuupia Ponds to Fort Hase Beach.
Spirits were high as participants began arriving at 6 a.m., undeterred by the pouring rain that greeted them so early in the morning. Participants registered as teams and individuals to traverse through mud-covered terrain.
Runners were dressed ready to get muddy. They wore typical hiking gear, to themed outfits like superheroes, aloha shirts and even minion-inspired attire from the film “Despicable Me.”
“The rain makes it fun,” said Megan Early, Semper Fit athletic director for the installation. “People weren’t as timid to get dirty because they were already wet. It’s a true Swamp Romp, the muddiest we’ve ever had.”
The terrain varied throughout the course. Some portions were thick mud, some were massive mud puddles and others were thick, soupy black mud that clung to runners daring to navigrate through the obstacles.
Later in the course, the terrain changed again over Fort Hase Beach, while participants looked like muddy sugar cookies when crawling through the sand.
Runners needed to conquer obstacles like monkey bars over large mud puddles, cross a rope bridge in Nuupia Ponds, jump tires and climb an A-frame ladder.
“This is my first year running it,” said Swamp Romp participant David Cox, a Marine Corps Air Station Kaneohe Bay Marine. “Next year I’m going to make a team and run with someone. It was a lot of fun.”
The event was held for base personnel and its surrounding community as an opportunity to involve everyone in a day of enjoyment as a means to build camaraderie and create competition.
“It’s a really good community building and team event,” Early said. “It’s kind of a way to welcome the community on base to have fun with us. I’ve gotten good feedback.”
Cox said he was surprised to see how well total strangers worked together to overcome obstacles along the course.“Everyone was really awesome,” Cox said. “I fell a couple of times, and some random people helped me up. This is more of a fun run more than anything.”
The event was a collaboration of support from Semper Fit, Marine Corps Community Services, Base Safety, Environmental Compliance and Protection Department, Provost Marshal’s Office and Combat Logistics Battalion 3. Marines from CLB-3 built obstacles and churned up mud for the event.
The next run in the Commanding Officer’s Fitness Series is the Surf & Turf 5K Run, scheduled for March 29. For more information, contact Early at 254-7590.