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Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton

Runners take on Buffalo Alley

By Lance Cpl. Derrick K. Irions | Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton | October 31, 2012

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Competitors cross the starting line beginning their cross-country journey during the 2012 Camp Pendleton Hard Corps Race Series, Buffalo Alley 10K race here, Oct. 20. The event allowed participants to run through backcountry trails where thriving herds of American Bison, commonly known as buffalo, still roam.

Competitors cross the starting line beginning their cross-country journey during the 2012 Camp Pendleton Hard Corps Race Series, Buffalo Alley 10K race here, Oct. 20. The event allowed participants to run through backcountry trails where thriving herds of American Bison, commonly known as buffalo, still roam. (Photo by Lance Cpl. Derrick K. Irions)


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Participants make their way to the starting line before the 2012 Camp Pendleton Hard Corps Race Series, Buffalo Alley 10K race here, Oct. 20. The event allowed participants to run through backcountry trails where thriving herds of American Bison, commonly known as buffalo, still roam.

Participants make their way to the starting line before the 2012 Camp Pendleton Hard Corps Race Series, Buffalo Alley 10K race here, Oct. 20. The event allowed participants to run through backcountry trails where thriving herds of American Bison, commonly known as buffalo, still roam. (Photo by Lance Cpl. Derrick K. Irions)


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A group of competitors speed through the 10K course during the 2012 Camp Pendleton Hard Corps Race Series, Buffalo Alley 10K race here, Oct. 20. The event allowed participants to run through backcountry trails where thriving herds of American Bison, commonly known as buffalo, still roam.

A group of competitors speed through the 10K course during the 2012 Camp Pendleton Hard Corps Race Series, Buffalo Alley 10K race here, Oct. 20. The event allowed participants to run through backcountry trails where thriving herds of American Bison, commonly known as buffalo, still roam. (Photo by Lance Cpl. Derrick K. Irions)


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Following the 2012 Camp Pendleton Hard Corps Race Series, Buffalo Alley 10K race, medals were given to the top race finishers here, Oct. 20. The three-part event included a 1K Kid’s Race, 5K race and 10K race that took participants through backcountry trails where thriving herds of American Bison, commonly known as buffalo, still roam.

Following the 2012 Camp Pendleton Hard Corps Race Series, Buffalo Alley 10K race, medals were given to the top race finishers here, Oct. 20. The three-part event included a 1K Kid’s Race, 5K race and 10K race that took participants through backcountry trails where thriving herds of American Bison, commonly known as buffalo, still roam. (Photo by Lance Cpl. Derrick K. Irions)


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Competitors cross the starting line beginning their cross-country journey during the 2012 Camp Pendleton Hard Corps Race Series, Buffalo Alley 10K race here, Oct. 20. The event allowed participants to run through backcountry trails where thriving herds of American Bison, commonly known as buffalo, still roam.

Competitors cross the starting line beginning their cross-country journey during the 2012 Camp Pendleton Hard Corps Race Series, Buffalo Alley 10K race here, Oct. 20. The event allowed participants to run through backcountry trails where thriving herds of American Bison, commonly known as buffalo, still roam. (Photo by Lance Cpl. Derrick K. Irions)


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After making her way down the final hill, 1st Lt. Joanna Cappeto, a public affairs officer with I Marine Expeditionary Force, continues her trek to the finish line during the 2012 Camp Pendleton Hard Corps Race Series, Buffalo Alley 10K race here, Oct. 20. The event allowed participants to run through backcountry trails where thriving herds of American Bison, commonly known as buffalo, still roam.

After making her way down the final hill, 1st Lt. Joanna Cappeto, a public affairs officer with I Marine Expeditionary Force, continues her trek to the finish line during the 2012 Camp Pendleton Hard Corps Race Series, Buffalo Alley 10K race here, Oct. 20. The event allowed participants to run through backcountry trails where thriving herds of American Bison, commonly known as buffalo, still roam. (Photo by Lance Cpl. Derrick K. Irions)


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CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. -- More than 750 participants and spectators gathered on the ridged hills of  Buffalo Alley for the 2012 Camp Pendleton Hard Corps Race Series, Buffalo Alley 1K, 5K and 10K races here, Oct. 20.

The events allowed participants to run the same backcountry trails and winding hills that thriving herds of American Bison, commonly known as buffalo, still roam.

"Running this race always leaves me wanting more," said Erica McKay, an avid Hard Corps Race Series participant. "The 10K is full of devastating hills that just keep going up and up. I felt like I was climbing into the clouds."

McKay and the other competitors began the 10K, cross-country trek from Camp Horno, home to the 1st Marines, up ridge-lines reaching elevation levels of approximately 1000 feet.

"My plan was to get to Recon (Hill), hit it hard and hope that everyone else would fall behind," said Cpl. Ian Wiest, an infantry assaultman with 3rd battalion, 1st Marines, after conquering the 10K course and becoming this year's 1st place winner.

The course led participants through the meadows of Buffalo Alley, down the steep and rocky slope Iron Mike, then leveling out for the home stretch back to the finish line in Horno. The 5K race took runners around Camp Horno and the 1K kids race had kids frantically racing on the Camp's athletic track during the non-timed event.

"It's unfortunate that this was the last race of this year's Hard Corps Race Series but I'll be back for more next year," said McKay. "I'm bringing reinforcements; we're going to attack these hills."

For more information about the 2012 Camp Pendleton Hard Corps Race Series visit, www.mccscp.com/raceseries.


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