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08-12-03, 06:03 AM
Bodybuilder celebrates birthday by winning competition

By Dave Ornauer, Stars and Stripes
Pacific edition, Tuesday, August 12, 2003

CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — Robert Harris celebrated his birthday four days early on Sunday night.

He had good reason, capturing the overall men’s championship in Sunday’s 8th Far East Bodybuilding Competition at Camp Foster’s Butler Theater.

The Chicago native, who turns 23 on Friday, took the best of show rating from a panel of eight judges in a competition featuring 34 male and six female entrants, some coming from as far away as Tokyo.

Charleta Fuller, a dependent spouse at Camp Foster, was named the women’s overall winner.

Far more than just hitting the weight room regularly, “It takes a mind set” to win a bodybuilding competition, said Harris, a Marine Corps sergeant assigned to the Materiel Readiness Battalion at Camp Kinser for the last three years. He’s been into bodybuilding for seven years.

“You decide you want to do it, put your mind to it and believe you can do it.”

Keys to success, he said, are a diet rich in protein and veggies and avoiding fats, sugars, alcohol and tobacco products. Along the way, the bodybuilder develops an ego, a showman’s streak, while maintaining a certain air of discipline.

“You have to avoid the things you like to do, going out, eating snacks, hanging out with friends, spending time with girlfriends,” Harris said.

Easy to do?

“Not at all, but it’s worth the reward,” he said.

Harris and Fuller each received samurai swords emblematic of the overall championship, while the winners in each weight group earned gold statuettes, plaques and participant T-shirts.

Harris beat out 14 competitors for the men’s middleweight title, while Fuller took the women’s lightweight category uncontested.

Two-time defending men’s champion Yoshinori Nakasone, a Japanese competitor, won the men’s bantamweight division, Marine Alfonzo Roobens the lightweight, airman Johnny Shackleford the light-heavyweight and airman Greg McCoy the heavyweight.

Eve Palmer, a Marine, won the women’s middleweight category and Lenora Thompson the heavyweight group.


Dave Ornauer / S&S
Robert Harris, a sergeant assigned to Camp Kinser, poses during the 8th Marine Corps Community Services Semper Fit Far East Bodybuilding Competition Sunday at the Butler Theater, Camp Foster, Okinawa. Fuller took the men's middleweight category and won the overall men's championship among 34 competitors.