Between two shifts, more than 30 TAPS workers participated in-person at this year’s Pump 5 Fun Run on August 8 and 22. A handful of TAPS workers opted to participate virtually with eight additional participants joining from a distance. Although, running or walking at PS 5 did have a few perks – an endless amount of BBQ and a cornhole tournament.
There were several prize categories, including the new Best Dressed contest:
- 5K First Place: Cameron Hursh, Mechanical Maintenance Technician, and Katie Sparks, PS 5-Fairbanks Environmental Coordinator
- Cornhole doubles tournament: Rick Morlock, PS 5 CMC and Paul John, Maintenance Central Technician (A shift); Robert Ortega, STP Operator, and Ian Stewart, Maintenance Planner (B shift)
- Red Lantern Award: Norman Kohler (HCC Baseline Laborer) and Gene Smith, HCC Oiler.
- Best dressed: Ian Stewart
Many volunteers helped bring this event and participants together:
- Baseline crews and CMCs set up the area and security led a bear watch to ensure that no wildlife encounters would occur. A helicopter overflight was performed as an additional layer of safety prior to the race.
- The OHU Wellness Program provided funding for T-shirts and supported organizers.
- The Alaska Native Program sponsored prizes including gift cards, water bottles and Alyeska-branded tote bags.
- PS 5 staff hosted, provided food and supplemental T-shirt funding, and many cleaned up after the event.
Depending on the shift, participants enjoyed either pulled pork or beef brisket that was cooked overnight, chicken, beans, coleslaw and plenty of desserts prepared by NMS Catering crew: René Guevara, Boyd Moss, Chris Sharp, Patrick Ntirenganya, Simeon Dushkin and Aaron Esplin.
First place winner, Katie Sparks, shared how encouragement for wellness throughout her division helped her prepare for the fun run.
“My favorite part of the Pump 5K is seeing everyone come together for laughs and comradery,” said Sparks. “This year I was inspired to put in the miles biking, running and skiing as part of the ‘Laps around TAPS’ initiative that the HSEC team is engaged in. Thank you to all who make this 5K happen, in particular Lisa Kangas and Geneva Walters!”
Lisa Kangas, Environmental Coordinator, was one of the main organizers for the Fun Run. She had many shout-outs to all those who helped.
“There is something to be said about an organization that allows employees to take some time during their shift to focus on wellness and enjoy some time outside with coworkers,” said Kangas. “Each year I find great partnership with those that help pull this together. I wish I could give an endless list of volunteers, from food table volunteers to capturing moments on their phones so we could share photos with the entire organization. Thank you to everyone for making this an event we’ll look forward to next year.”
Phil Huelskoetter PS5 CMC helped execute one of the events, and enjoyed seeing everyone having a good time however they hit the road.
“Everyone that participated by either walking or running did PS 5 proud,” said Huelskoetter. “There were a lot of laughs and was just a fun afternoon. My personal favorite photo was taken at the end of the race – a conclusion of an 80s-era movie success jump! I want to give catering a huge shoutout. Not only did they make an outstanding dinner, but they were a huge help with table set up and creating an overall BBQ atmosphere. And thank you to Security for keeping our racers safe, and Shay Younge for ensuring our mic and audio worked throughout the event.”