By Larry Reilly
USAG Stuttgart Public Affairs
Dozens of runners’ sporting ugly-looking sweaters hit the streets of Patch Barracks and ran into an ugly mixture of snow and rain during the Ugly Sweater Race, Dec. 16.
More than 165 people had signed up for the race and most of them turned out. The normally easy little 5K jaunt around the base started out well. However, halfway through the race, Mother Nature decided to provide some ugly weather in the form of a steady mixture of rain and snow.
“The snow made it a little challenging,” said 16-year-old William Bermudez, Jr, who took first place overall with a time of 19.29. “But it was a fun run.”
Of course, when you finish the race first, you get to watch everyone coming in after you navigate the course through the snow and rain.
“Visibility was definitely an issue as the snow fall intensified,” said Holly Mann, the first female to cross the finish line at 22.26. “The roads were not slippery at all as the Directorate of Public Works did a great job of salting the roads, and the Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation team placed colorful markers along the route that really helped guide us.”
Before long, all runners had completed the course and those wishing to show off their ugly sweaters gathered inside the Patch gym for a little sweater competition hosted by the folks at the Stuttgart USO.
The ugly sweater contest participants were given a little surprise when they lined up to show off their sweaters: the USO judges stated that everyone had to strut their stuff across the gym floor.
With dancing music blaring, the participants showed their good humor as their swayed across the floor showing off their sweaters.
Although the T-Rex got a roar from the crowd, no one out-did nine-year-old James Campbell as he boogied across the floor in a sweater that not only was pretty ugly, it was a sweater he made himself from scratch, and it came equipped with colored lights that actually lit up.
“It took me a long time to make this sweater,” Campbell said as he clutched the first place prize. “I think I will keep it.”
It may have been an ugly day weather-wise and in some cases sweater-wise, but a lot of people seemed to enjoy the run, the sweater contest and the fun of it all.
“This is by far the most successful Ugly Sweater Race and contest we have had. I can’t thank USO enough for all their support and participation, “said Felicia Hanes, fitness coordinator, FMWR Family and Recreation Division. “And to all the runners, thank you for coming out and spending your morning with us. Hope to see again next year.”