Monday, March 2, 2015

Mud Run

Barksdale opens its sports events to community

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The Ark-La-Tex community has always shown great support and interest in Barksdale Air Force Base, as evidenced in hundreds of thousands of visitors who attend the Air Show and Open House every year. Now, to further foster community relations, Barksdale has opened some of their sports and recreation programs to the local community.

The first such event is the Defenders of Liberty taking place March 7 at Barksdale. It is open to the public and features four miles of muddy, steep terrain with about 15 military style obstacles located in strategic places.

The race offers both competitive heats and “just for fun” waves, as well as a one mile Kid’s Mud Run. The signature item for the Mud Run is the nighttime headlamp run and bonfire party. Runners get a cool tech shirt and a set of dog tags. Race-ruined shoes are cleaned up and donated to the needy while proceeds for the event support programs for the families of Barksdale Airmen. To register, visit barksdaleservices.com.

In the fall, come and experience the Barksdale Half Marathon and 5K Run. The race is in its fourth season and enjoys great patronage and support from local businesses. The half marathon is a great venue to meet, thank and run with our defenders of freedom. By having both the 5K and half marathon distances, the event is right for all participants, from newbies and walkers to competitive runners.

On the outdoorsman side of sports, the base has a successful archery range with 3D lifelike targets. Shooters ranging from peewees to professionals enjoy this program. They also have a paintball range with rental equipment and supplies available. To round out the shooting theme, one of the best kept secrets in town is Barksdale’s Red Chute Shotgun Sports Club. Shooters can engage in trap, skeet or five stand, a multidirectional target thrower which has been described as the closest thing to actual hunting imaginable. In late spring, the club will open a new 14 station sporting clays course. All these outdoor programs are available to our local community.

Also available to the community is Fox Run Golf Course. Fox Run is a par 70 course and is short but challenging with plenty of trees, sand and tight fairways. As part of the Air Force, the course is well maintained to military standards. Amenities include a snack bar and grill, fully stocked pro shop, practice range and putting greens, and professional instruction. Golfers can apply for daily access or choose membership at Fox Run.

As expected, access to these programs requires some screening, as security is foremost with any military installation. Details about these programs can be found at www. barkdaleservices.com. Proceeds from all of these go right back into programming that supports the morale and welfare of the Airmen and families stationed at Barksdale.

What a great opportunity to both support our fighting families and to enjoy those freedoms while building some personal sports pride. Meet your military, welcome and befriend them and enjoy the offerings that the base is making available. This uniting in common interests is, after all, what community is all about.

Kelly Wells is the Vice President of Sports and Tourism for the Shreveport- Bossier Sports Commission. The Shreveport-Bossier Sports Commission is a division of the Shreveport-Bossier Convention & Tourist Bureau in partnership with the city of Shreveport, Caddo Parish Commission, Bossier Parish Police Jury and the city of Bossier. Visit our website: www. shreveportbossiersports.com or email Kelly Wells at kwells@sbctb.org.

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