ECBC hosts ‘Gas Mask Dash’

More than 260 runners from the APG community start off the ECBC Gas Mask Dash 5K Run/Walk at CAPA Field, April 27, 2017. ECBC Research and Technology Director Dr. Eric L. Moore (far right) signaled the start of the race with a vintage 1942 M-1 gas attack alarm. | U.S. Army photo

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — More than 260 runners and walkers turned out for the Edgewood Chemical Biological Center Gas Mask Dash five-kilometer race and two-mile walk April 27.

Wearing gas mask T-shirts, participants run the ECBC 100th Anniversary Gas Mask Dash 5K course on APG South (Edgewood) April 27, 2017. | U.S. Army photo

The event was part of ECBC’s year-long 100th anniversary celebration. Wearing gas mask T-shirts, participants started at CAPA Field and ran or walked a course that meandered through the APG South (Edgewood) area of Aberdeen Proving Ground.

Instead of firing a starting gun, ECBC Research and Technology Director Dr. Eric L. Moore, used a vintage 1942 M-1 gas attack alarm to signal the start of the race.

The gas mask theme is a tribute to the Edgewood Arsenal legacy of gas mask design and production that began during World War I. These masks have protected American Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines on the battlefield for a century, and today, ECBC is busy designing a new generation of masks using advanced technology.

The event was open to the public. The top overall finishers plus the top runners in the various age groups received commemorative medallions.

Wearing gas mask T-shirts, participants run the ECBC 100th Anniversary Gas Mask Dash 5K course on APG South (Edgewood) April 27, 2017. | U.S. Army photo

The overall winner, who came in at a blistering time of 17 minutes and 59 seconds and a pace of 5:51 per mile, was Zach Zander, an ECBC research chemist. The fastest woman, at 20:15, was Madison Haas, an analytical chemist at the U.S. Army Public Health Command. An 8-year-old, Abigail Horsmon, daughter of two ECBC research biologists, won the 19 and under category with a time of 25:54, beating many older runners.

“I’ve been running competitively since my junior year of high school and ran my first marathon when I was a senior,” Zander said. “Now I run at lunchtime with a group of runners from ECBC and several other Edgewood Area Army commands. Half of us were in the race, so it was fun to run with them in a race setting, and to run with a great community of people in remembrance of our heritage.”

A Gas Mask Dash participant views past and present gas masks on display April 27, 2017 on APG South (Edgewood). | U.S. Army photo

ECBC will continue to hold a 100th anniversary celebration event each month for the remainder of 2017. On May 24, U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command Historian Jeff Smart will give a lecture at Berger Auditorium.

On June 15, ECBC will hold a centennial celebration in front of Building E-3400. It will include the presentation of items to place in an ECBC time capsule and the unveiling of the design of a statue to be placed there in early 2018.

For more information on ECBC’s 100th anniversary events, go to: https://www.ecbc.army.mil/100/ecbc-anniversary-events.html

Edgewood Chemical Biological Center