On July 4 the members of the HDF Kabul International Airport Force Protection Contingent (HDF KAIA FPC) and the Hungarian soldiers serving in various positions at the airport participated in a ten-kilometer running race.

The race was held for the first time in the United States of America on July 4, 1970, when 110 runners gathered at the corner of Peachtree Street and Roswell Street. The group of runners covered 6.2 miles (10 kilometers) in Atlanta, crossing the finish line at the Central City Park. Since then, the event has been widely known as Peachtree Road Race.


In Atlanta, the race is an essential part of the Independence Day celebrations, which drew 60 thousand participants this year.

Besides performing their continuous and physically challenging service duties, the members of the HDF KAIA FPC serving in Kabul entered the race in their own free time. We interviewed WO László M., “the fastest Hungarian” about his experiences of the run. Of the close to 400 entrants, he came in 25th, completing the race in 43 minutes.

I often see you working out, both at home and in the area of operations. How many kilometers do you run a week?

I got into running after 23 years of playing football. I usually run 50-60 kilometers a week, which includes a longer, 21.5 kilometer half-marathon distance for the weekends as well.

As an experienced runner, what was the thing you needed to focus on the most during the race?

I wanted to be able to run a kilometer under 4.5 minutes on average, as I had planned in advance, and I had already managed to achieve that over a five-kilometer distance earlier. This equals my result at the half-marathon, which I had already completed at home “in normal circumstances”. This time, coping with the environment presented me with a great challenge, because here at an elevation of 1800 meters the air is much thinner. The higher temperature and the dust flying in the air added a further complication to the run.

How did you prepare for the race?

This race was perfect for checking my times, so during it I was able to measure the extent of keeping to my workout schedule so far, so this run did not require of me any special preparation.

Which race(s) would you like to participate next time?

I am currently preparing for the Budapest autumn marathon, but someday I would like to enter a long-distance triathlon too. I think I won’t have any problem with the running part of it, but after our homecoming, I need to find more time for swimming and cycling. By tradition, those completing the 10-kilometer distance were given a gift T-shirt, whose design was put to the vote on the internet this year as well.