Navy’s Deer Run back on despite budget cuts

Peninsula Daily News

PORT HADLOCK — The Navy’s annual Deer Run, which was canceled in June, is back on.

The 5K (3.1-mile) run/walk will be held Sunday, Aug. 11.

At 10 a.m., participants of all ages will run and walk their way on the terrain course through forested area on the southern end of Indian Island.

The run had been canceled because of budget cuts, but the Navy’s Morale, Welfare and Recreation, or MWR, staff found a way, the Navy said.

“We worked closely with MWR sports and fitness program personnel to relook at options for Deer Run,” said Cmdr. Michael Yesunas, Indian Island commanding officer.

“There are still quite a few restrictions in place due to budget cuts, but we have managed to find a way to further reduce the cost of an already low-cost fitness event.”

Registration

Registration can be made online at www.active.com by searching for “Deer Run” in Port Hadlock. Runners also can register on-site the day of event from 9 a.m. to 9:45 a.m.

Registered participants will be able to enter the main gate at Naval Magazine Indian Island at 9 a.m. Valid picture identification is required for entry, and cameras will not be allowed on base.

The entry fee for adults is $20 with a T-shirt or $15 without a T-shirt. For participants ages 16 and younger, the fee is $15 with a T-shirt and free without one.

To guarantee receipt of a T-shirt, participants are required to register by this Friday.

The Deer Run was revived by the Navy base and MWR in 2011 as a terrain run through part of Indian Island’s forests, making it unique to Indian Island.

Budget shortfalls due to sequestration forced the Navy and other military services to cut back on formal community outreach programs this year, including Fleet Weeks and Blue Angels air shows, the Navy said.

Physical readiness

However, the Deer Run is first and foremost an MWR sports and fitness event, which is important for personnel in maintaining physical readiness, Yesunas said.

“While the community is invited to participate in the run, Deer Run is held primarily for military personnel as a fun way to get outdoors, keep active and be healthy,” Yesunas said.

Beth Leone-Mullins, MWR installation program manager, said labor was the largest cost factor for the run, and most Department of Defense civilian employees have begun furlough schedules to save money.

“We will be utilizing a few employees that are not subject to the current civilian employee furloughs because they are paid through non-appropriated funds,” Leone-Mullins said.

“Assistance will be provided by Indian Island’s active-duty military and reservists, since it is a regularly scheduled drill weekend.”

Department of Defense-affiliated personnel that are eligible for MWR programs may register at www.navylifepnw.com using MyFFR activity number 622400/622401.

Eligible MWR patrons include active-duty military, full-time reservists, Department of Defense civilians and military retirees and family members.

Last modified: July 23. 2013 5:47PM
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