Runners take to APG-south streets for ECBC gas mask dash

More than 260 runners from the APG community start off ECBC’s Gas Mask Dash 5K Run/Walk in CAPA Field.

More than 250 runners and walkers turned out for U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center’s (ECBC) Gas Mask Dash five-kilometer race and two-mile walk on Thursday, April 27.

The event was part of ECBC’s year-long 100th anniversary celebration. Wearing gas mask T-shirts, participants started at CAPA Field and ran or walked a course that meandered through the Edgewood Area of Aberdeen Proving Ground.

Instead of firing a starting gun, ECBC Research and Technology Director Eric L. Moore, Ph.D., started the race by sounding a vintage 1942 M-1 gas attack alarm. The gas mask theme was a tribute to Edgewood Arsenal’s legacy of gas mask design and production starting in World War I. These masks have protected American Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines on the battlefield for a century, and today, ECBC is busy designing a new generation of masks using advanced technology.

The event was open to the public. The top overall finishers plus the top runners in the various age groups received commemorative medallions. The overall winner, who came in at a blistering time of 17 minutes and 59 seconds and a pace of 5:51 per mile, was Zach Zander, an ECBC research chemist. The fastest woman, at 20:15, was Madison Haas, an analytical chemist at the U.S. Army Public Health Command. An 8-year-old, Abigail Horsmon, daughter of two ECBC research biologists, won the 19 and under category with a time of 25:54, beating many older runners.

Gas Mask Dash 5K runners leave the CAPA Field area and enter the main course.

“I’ve been running competitively since my junior year of high school and ran my first marathon when I was a senior,” said Zander. “Now I run at lunchtime with a group of runners from ECBC and several other Edgewood Area Army commands. Half of us were in the race, so it was fun to run with them in a race setting, and to run with a great community of people in remembrance of our heritage.”

ECBC will continue to hold a 100th anniversary celebration event each month for the remainder of 2017. On May 24, U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command Historian Jeff Smart will give a lecture at Berger Auditorium. On June 15, ECBC will hold a centennial celebration in front of Building E-3400. It will include the presentation of items to place in an ECBC time capsule and the unveiling of the design of a statue to be placed there in early 2018.

Gas Mask Dash 5K Race walkers do their part for fitness following a two-mile course.

For more information on ECBC’s 100th anniversary events, go to: https://www.ecbc.army.mil/100/ecbc-anniversary-events.html

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The U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center is part of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, which has the mission to provide innovative research, development and engineering to produce capabilities for decisive overmatch to the Army against the complexities of the current and future operating environments in support of the Joint Warfighter and the Nation. RDECOM is a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Material Command.

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