Cutter Boutwell’s crew stretches their sea legs

And They're Off

Participants take off from the starting line during the 5K race. Photo courtesy of CGC Boutwell

Story By: LTJG Andrew Gavelek

ALAMEDA, Calif. — The crew of the San Diego-based Coast Guard Cutter Boutwell stretched their sea legs, hosting a 5- and 10-kilometer race with the Costa Rican Coast Guard in the port of Golfito, Costa Rica, Jan. 10, 2014.

The crew coordinated two races along the lush, green coastline with their counterparts from the Costa Rican Coast Guard during a port call in Golfito.

The heat was scorching and the humidity was already high when the 5K, the first of the two races, kicked off at 9 a.m. with 21 Boutwell crewmembers and seven Costa Rican Coast Guardsmen crossing the starting line.

Four Boutwell crewmembers and two of their Costa Rican counterparts decided to push themselves despite the extreme heat and complete the 10K race, which is approximately 6.2 miles.

“That was a lot of fun,” said one of the Costa Rican participants when asked how he enjoyed the race.  “Next time, let us know earlier and we will have a game of soccer — your crew against ours.”

The top two Costa Rican runners received Boutwell unit T-shirts and ball caps to commemorate the race.  The top four Boutwell runners received small Costa Rican flags from the Costa Rican Coast Guard.

This marks Boutwell’s second unit 5K in the past year.  The first was hosted in the remote town of Adak, Alaska, while Boutwell was deployed to the Bering Sea in June 2013 on a search and rescue and living marine resources patrol.  Lt. j.g. Sarah Colmenero, Boutwell’s damage control assistant and one of the race’s coordinators said. “I love the competitive spirit these races create no matter where we are around the world.”

U.S. and Costa Rican Coast Guard members pose for a photo. Photo courtesy of CGC Boutwell

U.S. and Costa Rican Coast Guard members pose for a photo. Photo courtesy of CGC Boutwell

Exchanges like this highlight the positive relationships that the U.S. Coast Guard is able to form with its partner nations and communities, allowing the Coast Guard to coordinate its missions with familiar assets.

Commissioned in 1968, the 378-foot Coast Guard Cutter Boutwell is homeported in San Diego, Calif., and is one of eight remaining High Endurance Cutters in service.  Boutwell’s crew is currently conducting a counter-drug and search and rescue patrol in the Eastern Pacific Ocean.