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Marines, sailors compete against Royal Norwegian Air Force Academy at cancer charity race

By Cpl. Gloria Lepko | Marine Corps Forces Europe | July 2, 2018

Marines and sailors with Marine Rotational Force-Europe 18.1 raced for a cure and took home the first and fifth place titles at a Norwegian cancer research benefit near Kristiansten Fortress in Trondheim, Norway, June 2.

More than 100 U.S. and Norwegian participants divided into 23 teams and competed in the event, which consisted of two 400-meter sprints, a military vehicle pull, tire flip and a math challenge.

“This race was a great opportunity for the Marines to interact with Norwegian soldiers and benefit a good cause,” said Cpl. Michael Lynch, a member of the first place team, nicknamed Rapunzel’s Regiment. “It’s important for us to help out in the community, and this was a fun way to contribute.”

The event raised approximately $2,100 for the Royal Norwegian Air Force Academy’s cancer support organization. Aside from funding cancer research, donations received will be used to buy toys for younger patients and cover fees associated with events like this race.

“This event was a new and creative way to raise money and inform the local people in Trondheim about the charity foundation and the job we do,” said Norwegian 2nd Lt. Vegard Bergjord, the head of the cancer support charity organization at the Royal Norwegian Air Force Academy. “Our goal is to make the daily life of cancer struck children a little brighter.”

Bergjord also said the race generated a positive response from participating organizations and athletes, bringing attention to the efforts of the Royal Norwegian Air Force Academy, 132nd Air Wing at Ørland Main Air Station, St. Olavs Hospital and Norwegian Cancer Society.

“We think it is important to bring awareness to the cause because we realize that we can make a difference,” Bergjord said. “Cancer is still a mysterious disease that takes many different forms, and it’s something that many can relate to through the loss of relatives, family or friends.”