Kingsley celebrates Blue Zones designation with 5K

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Riley Johnson
  • 173rd Fighter Wing

The 173rd Fighter Wing officially celebrated Kingsley Field’s designation as a Blue Zones Project Approved Worksite Thursday, July 20 with a ribbon cutting ceremony and Sentry Eagle 5K run/walk.

Following the ribbon cutting ceremony, led by 173rd FW Commander Col. Jeff Smith and Klamath County Commissioner Derrick DeGroot, Airmen from around the base and their families participated in the Sentry Eagle 5K run/walk. 

“We are proud to be one of, if not the first DOD installation approved by the Blue Zones Project,” Smith said. “This is a phenomenal milestone for us.”

Approximately 150 runners participated in the race and the overall winner was Derek Sharrell, Kingsley Field Fire Department assistant chief, with a time of 16:06.

“For you guys to be here is huge,” Degroot said to the runners. “It shows commitment to our community and we could not be more proud.”

This event was put together by the 173rd FW Comprehensive Airman Fitness Team.  CAF is a holistic concept that focuses on taking care of our Airmen and their families by focusing on four different pillars of fitness:  Mental, Social, Physical, and Spiritual.

“We could not ask for a better partner than the 173rd Fighter Wing,” Degroot said.

The Blue Zones Approved Worksite designation is the result of the work the CAF team did over the last few months.

“Being a Blue Zones Project Approved Worksite means that 173d Fighter Wing has intentionally prioritized the well-being of its members through the implementation of research-based best practices,” said Jessie Hecocta, Blue Zones Project - Klamath Falls Organization Lead.  “The purpose is to create leaders who role-model well-being behaviors and create an environment which supports the health of others. It also means that the organization supports employees in pursuing their purpose and connecting that purpose in the context of their work.” 

To achieve this designation, the team focused on multiple objectives such as designating a space for employees to quietly reflect, publish walking/running routes, and many others.