VICKSBURG, Miss. -- Even the intense heat of a Mississippi summer couldn’t stop the “mad scientists” of the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center. The ERDC held its third annual Mad Scientist 5K Race/Walk Saturday, September 7, 2019, at its Vicksburg campus.
The race, a public event sponsored by the ERDC Alumni Association, was designed to enhance community relations and raise funds for science, technology, engineering and mathematics scholarships. Along with ERDC employees, there were runners from all over the state of Mississippi as the race is a Mississippi Track Club Grand Prix Event.
More than 200 participants took on the 3.1-mile course that wove through the campus past many of the buildings where the "mad” scientists and engineers work. Although temperatures were predicted to reach the hottest of the year, the spirits of the racers weren’t dampened, with one runner even showing up in costume.
Oliver Child, a member of the British military currently stationed at ERDC, was the overall winner with a time of 18 minutes, 33 seconds. His wife, Laura Child, came in second and was the female champion with a time of 20:01. Third-place went to Dr. Ty Wamsley, director of the ERDC’s Coastal and Hydraulics Laboratory, who finished at 20:32, with Kristi Hall second in the women’s division and fourth overall with a time of 20:54. Orlando Carrasquillo from ERDC’s Geotechnical and Structures Laboratory rounded out the top five in 20:59.
Steve Pranger, a research chemical engineer with ERDC’s Environmental Laboratory, won the overall title in the 5K race walk, finishing in 33:11. The women’s winner, Angel Curry, was a close second coming in at 33:32, with third-place winner Ron Roma right behind, with a time of 33:39. Elizabeth Joyner and Cindy Ables rounded out the top five in 35:41 and 35:50, respectively.
The event concluded with a children’s 1-mile fun run. Eleven-year-old Luke Bond won with a time of 6:16, with 9-year-old Cora Lindsey coming in second and taking the girls’ title in 6:21. Jona Artman finished third in 6:26.
ERDC Director Dr. David Pittman, and ERDC Commander Col. Teresa Schlosser, were onsite to congratulate the winners. Schlosser also participated in the run as the newly appointed commander of the installation.