View Full Version : Marines' widows to participate in 10K in honor of husbands

11-04-06, 06:16 AM
Marines' widows to participate in 10K in honor of husbands

By Linda McIntosh

November 4, 2006

CAMP PENDLETON – Rachelle Arroyave is driving 500 miles from Northern California to participate today in the Buffalo Alley 10K Run at Camp Pendleton.

It's the first time she'll be in this kind of race, and she's doing it for her husband, Staff Sgt. Jimmy Arroyave.

He ran the race in 2003 after returning to Camp Pendleton from his first deployment to Iraq.

He wanted to run it again but was deployed in March 2004. A month later he was killed in a noncombat-related vehicle accident in Iraq.

“I'm doing it in his place,” Arroyave said.

She will be one of about 10 military wives who are taking their husbands' places at the race, formerly known as the Horno Ridge Run.

“The best way to get through grief is to bond with others who have gone through the same thing,” Arroyave said.

Not all the women will run, but they'll have a chance to get to know one another.

“I don't think he'd mind if I walked instead of run, or if I watched,” said Arroyave, whose husband served in the Marine Corps for 10 years.

The wives will be recognized at the run, which follows some of the same trails the Marines use for training.

The run is open to civilians and military and is expected to draw 600 competitors.

“What's great about the runs at Camp Pendleton is the interaction with the Marines and the off-road trails,” said Bob Babbitt, editor and publisher of Competitor magazine.

“We're screaming for them, and they're supporting us. We go by and thank them for their service,” said Babbitt, who ran last year.

Babbitt's wife, Heidi Janzen, has run in base events for the past four years.

“You feel good being able to support the military and being surrounded by them. It's a feeling that has increased in poignancy the last few years,” Janzen said.

Runners also talk about the beauty of the backcountry trails on base.

“It's like California 100 years ago, and it's as pure as you can get,” Babbitt said. “You're there alone with your thoughts.”

The first mile goes up Recon Hill, and then the route follows the ridge with some scenic views from 500 feet up.

“I know it was a memorable race for my husband, and that's why I'm coming back,” Arroyave said.

Race registration is free to active-duty Marines at Camp Pendleton and wives of fallen and wounded Marines.

Awards are given to the top three overall and top three in each division.

Linda McIntosh, (760) 752-6756; linda.mcintosh@tlnews.net