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Top Honors

Hammer athlete named Marine Corps Athlete of the Year

BY JESSICA EVANS

Every year, the Marine Corps’ Athlete of the Year is awarded to one male and one female active duty Marine. Marines who have excelled in varsity, All-Marine, national and international completions are eligible to be nominated for the award. Winners are chosen based on their athletics skills and how well they embody Marine Corps values.

In 2016, Hammer Sponsored Athlete Colonel Stephen Armes received this prestigious award. Armes was honored alongside 1st Lt Mollie Hebda, also from Camp Pendleton. Both were both recognized at the Commandant’s Combined Awards Ceremony held at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia on February 8, 2017.

“There are three very important traits that separate a good athlete from a champion: dedication, passion and perspective, “ says long time friend Brian Walton. “Steve lives and breathes these traits on a daily basis. Whether it’s running Marines half his age into the ground, keeping up with his kids at the track, in the pool or simply pushing himself within a daily workout. A few years ago, Steve’s doctor told him that he would not be able to compete in running anymore. His dedication and dogged determination proved the naysayers wrong. Within a year, he was competing for the USMC at CISM. His passion and perspective to stay strong when Marines were in much worse places at the moment is what truly makes him a champion.”

Armes started running in 1997 and has been doing so ever since. Stephen struggled to find a nutritional product that didn’t tear up his stomach during competition. But when he tried Hammer Gels he said they were perfect. In 2006, Stephen became a Sponsored Athlete with Hammer. His wife and two boys are runners and triathletes and it is their only source of fuel in training, competition, and recovery.

Armes has represented the All-Marine National Team at numerous races in the US and Japan, the US & Canada Armed Forces Triathlon Championships, and at the world level where the team earned a bronze medal. What started out as a way to be active and spend time outdoors with his family has developed into a way of life.

“Our family is a very active family and my husband Stephen, leads us by example. He has taught our son and myself, that hard work, determination, focus and setting goals is more than winning,” says his wife Karla Armes. “Despite being a United Sates Marine for over 24 years, Stephen has found a way to commit himself to excelling in all he sets out to do, while keeping it fun. Both Stephen and I now coach athletes that it is a lifestyle, not just a sport. I am incredibly proud of Steve and so excited that he is being recognized by the Marine Corps.”

Hammer Nutrition is proud of him as well. Hammer on!

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