Camp Lejeune residents and community members came together to exercise and show their national pride at the Marine Corps Community Services Patriot Fun Run which began and ended at the Tarawa Terrace Community Center on Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, July 13.

“We had a good turnout,” said Arelis Cruz, a recreation assistant with MCCS. “I was glad to see the families come out with their kids. There were a lot of families that were dressed up and I like to see it. I think that it’s fun.”

Participants in the MCCS Fun Runs can choose between a one mile-run and a three-mile run. Cruz said people don’t have to run, either. They can walk, bike or roller-skate as long as they are having fun. Parents are also welcome to bring their children, no matter their age or physical ability, to join in on the run or to just watch. Dogs, except for banned breeds, are able to participate in the runs as well.

One of the most patriotic participants at the Patriot Run was Isabel Collette, who ran the entire run carrying a United States flag.

“I never really liked running, but I saw people with [prosthetics], people pushing people and old folks running,” Collette said, whose husband is a retired U.S. Marine. “I thought, ‘I have healthy legs and healthy lungs,’ so I had to try it.”

Now Collette is preparing for the Marine Corps Marathon that will be held in Washington, DC, October 27.

The next MCCS Fun Run will be the Wet & Wild Run on August 3 at the Tarawa Terrace Community Center. Registration begins at 8 a.m., and the run starts at 8:30 a.m. Runners are encouraged to wear a bathing suit and should prepare to get wet before or after the run. Cruz said that there will be water guns and sprinklers for the kids, too. All MCCS Fun Runs are free of cost and open to anyone with base access.

To learn more about MCCS Run Funs, visit or find MCCS Lejeune-New River on Facebook.