CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- The Marines of 2nd Maintenance Battalion, 2nd Marine Logistics Group put their strength, teamwork and intestinal fortitude to the test during the unit’s field meet here, Oct. 24.
The battalion’s companies went head-to-head in a series of competitions over the course of the day, including a 10-kilometer run, tire flip, tug-of-war contest, three-legged race, seven-ton truck pull and a stomach-churning doughnut-run challenge.
“The battalion field meet was intended to build camaraderie,” said Lt. Col. Craig Clemans, the battalion’s commanding officer. “Trying to make a big unit small is a challenge. Events like this where we have company competitions and we allow them to compete against each other make the big unit small and builds camaraderie.”
Crowds of Marines gathered around two seven-ton trucks to start the event. Each company took turns dragging the metal behemoths 25 yards as they raced for the best time.
More of the battalion’s Marines tested their mental agility as the cheers from the truck pull echoed over the field. They elevated their heart rates with a cardiovascular work out, crawled across the field to a Rubik’s Cube and struggled to complete the puzzle before their competitors.
“A sense of competition is something I very much want to promote,” said Clemans. “It really puts the character of the Marines on display and fosters a sense of sportsmanship. In winning and losing, there is a sense of unity that brings us together.”
The Marines grew even more boisterous during the tug-of-war challenge, where the rhythmic chants of “pull … pull … pull” flowed from each team as they attempted to drag their opponents into defeat.
The most unappetizing event, however, was one the Marines volunteered to give a shot. It was a doughnut-eating contest and three-mile sprint, which left a sea of disorganized boxes and doughnut remains strewn about the road.
“It was probably the most comical event of the day – the mile-and-a-half run, then eating a dozen doughnuts and another mile-and-a-half run,” said Sgt. Matthew Stotts, one of the officials who helped run the tug-of-war challenge but refrained from indulging in any pastries. “I don’t think I have eaten a dozen doughnuts in two years. I think there is going to be a lot of [cleaning] at the battalion today.”
Sweat and sticky doughnut glaze clung to their cheeks as more than a dozen Marines gorged themselves on the fluffy treats and raced around the battalion’s complex.
Some contestants attempted to mash their pile of doughnuts into one grand serving while others went with a slow, deliberate pace. The pain on their faces was evident regardless of their strategies as each bite sucked the moisture from their mouths and threatened to overfill their bellies.
Fighting through the pain was just another part of the game for the Marines.
“The number one thing is pride,” said Stotts.
The battalion trophy hung in the balance, and each company wanted to claim the bragging rights of having the award.
Electronic Maintenance Company claimed first place at the end of the day. They will have to defend the trophy at the unit’s next competition.