A few weeks ago, I learned to my surprise that a trail race was going to take place at Fort Ord, California . It would be almost exactly thirty years from the day in 1986 when I reported for duty as a young officer with the 7th Infantry Division (light). Upon arrival at Fort Ord, I had briefly marveled at the coastal mountains of northern California and then quickly found myself crossing the beautiful, rugged terrain in runs, on road marches, and during tactical movements, learning a great deal about discipline and physical endurance as a member of the 7th infantry “light fighters.”
A lot had changed in thirty years. After a brief stint in the army, I had moved on to a career in finance. Meanwhile, the Army had deactivated the 7th Infantry Division, and Fort Ord had been transformed into a national park.
I couldn’t resist. In due course, I was registered for The Ordnance 100-kilometer (61-mile) trail race, organized by Inside Trail. It would be a chance to experience once again Fort Ord’s rocky canyons, emerald hills, and sandy trails, as well as reflect on the idea of “going light,” not only as a soldier, but now as a runner.