JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas –
In support of September's National Suicide Prevention Month, each Joint Base San Antonio location will host an awareness 5K.
Races, called "Run For Life," begin 8 a.m. Sept. 6 at Eberle Park at JBSA-Randolph; 8 a.m. Sept. 13 at MacArthur Parade Field at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston; and 8 a.m. Sept. 20 at the Gillum Fitness Center's 5K path at JBSA-Lackland.
Registration for the JBSA-Randolph 5K is exclusive to Department of Defense cardholders, but anyone may sign up for the other runs, although additional information is required on registration forms, which are needed at least 12 days prior to the corresponding event for security purposes and to ensure access.
The registration fee is $15 for JBSA-Fort Sam Houston and JBSA-Lackland. At JBSA-Randolph, there is no fee, but participants there can buy a T-shirt for $10 until Aug. 25.
In years past, each location planned separate events for Suicide Prevention Month, but this is the first JBSA-wide 5K organized in honor of that month, Shae Peters, JBSA-Fort Sam Houston Run For Life coordinator, said.
"These runs will increase suicide awareness throughout San Antonio and provide support to those whose lives have been touched by suicide," she said. "These races also put 'running legs' on one of the 502nd Air Base Wing's objectives, which is to optimize the health of our warriors and families, past and present."
Additionally, the joint 5Ks are meant to help people "recognize all of the resources offered to our military community on and off base," Gina Ramirez, JBSA-Randolph Run For Life coordinator, said.
They include resiliency classes, military and family life counselors, domestic abuse advocates, key spouses, chapels, fitness centers, new parent support programs and deployed family resources to name a few, which are "a fraction of the (JBSA) resources we have to offer," she said.
Outside of base, anyone facing hardship can turn to Survivors of Loved Ones' Suicide in San Antonio or seek national support from the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, Military OneSouce, America's Mighty Warriors, National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and the Wingman Tool Kit, Ramirez said.
Run For Life is about combating and overcoming the stressors of life, she said, but also about knowing that help is available.
"You are not alone," she added. "Even in adversity, we must find ways to rise to the occasion."
To register for the 5K, visit http://www.5KRunForLife.com for JBSA-Randolph and http://www.athleteguild.com/group/joint-base-san-antonio/event for JBSA-Fort Sam Houston and JBSA-Lackland.
Check-in time on race day is 7:30 a.m. at JBSA-Randolph and 7 a.m. at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston and JBSA-Lackland.