Oct | 4
Brooks Athletes, Inspiration

Running Happy in Iraq

Joshua Sherrod Races While Deployed in Iraq

Brooks ID Member Joshua Sherrod races on his base in Iraq.

Imagine that you are in a foreign country. You have just worked a 12 hour day, it’s 10 O’Clock at night and still over 100 degrees outside. You’re out for a run when suddenly: “Incoming!” a “voice in the sky” yells informing you to get to a bunker as quickly as possible because a mortar is heading towards your base.

While this may seem like a scene from a movie, for Brooks ID Member Joshua Sherrod, this is an average day. Joshua works as a Budget Analyst for Joint Munitions Command (or JMC). JMC is part of the US Department of Defense and Joshua was recently deployed in Iraq.

Despite the frequent dust storms, incoming mortars and rockets, and heat that reaches over 140 degrees, Joshua is an avid runner, even in Iraq. Joshua stated that “I am very passionate about running… I think running and working out is what keeps people sane over there.”

According to Joshua, races are held on US bases for deployed soldiers with distances varying from 5k to the marathon. On Joushua’s base a Track and Field Olympics was held. Joshua won the mile in 4:51. While Joshua trains in the Glycerin 9, his running shoe arsenal also includes the T7 racing flat and the Mach13 for racing. “I love them all!” Joshua said about the shoes.

Joshua receiving his racing bib

Joshua receiving his racing bib

Joshua also stated that the races “build camaraderie among everyone running on base and everyone helps push each other. There are anywhere from 400 to 1000 soldiers per race.”

Beyond winning races overseas, Joshua started a running club called the Anaconda Running Club. “Most soldiers were deployed anywhere from 6 to 15 months, so we had numerous folks coming and going with the club,” said Joshua, “But all of them loved the camaraderie that the running and training together brought us.”

Joshua stated about his experience that, “It was an honor to work with the defenders of our great nation. Running helped keep us in great shape, mentally and physically… The pile of shirts and unforgettable trophy’s will never let me forget the good times I had running the roads of Joint Base Balad.”

About Kristen
Kristen has worked for Brooks since summer 2011 and is an addicted runner. She ran in the Big 10 conference for The Ohio State University where she recently finished her master’s degree in Communication. Kristen is now running half-marathons (with a PR of 1:18:41) and full marathons (2:45:46). Kristen is a 2012 Olympic Marathon Trials qualifier.

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