• Sgt. 1st Class Kenneth Hamilton, operations noncommissioned officer for the 314th Public Affairs Operations Center in Birmingham, Ala., passes off the team tracker to Sgt. 1st Class Jeremiah Glassford, the lead noncommissioned officer of the 340th Public Affairs Detachment, during the first exchange of the relay portion of the Mercedes-Benz Marathon. The 314th Public Affairs Operation Center participated in the Mercedes Marathon weekend with soldiers competing in the full, half and relay portions of the race. The event was used to as a motivational tool for soldiers of the unit to improve their physical fitness abilities and to bring the unit together as they prepare for extended combat training. Photo by Spc. Kasheika Campbell.

    26.2 reasons to run

    Sgt. 1st Class Kenneth Hamilton, operations noncommissioned officer for the 314th Public Affairs Operations Center in Birmingham, Ala., passes off the team tracker to Sgt. 1st Class Jeremiah Glassford, the lead noncommissioned officer of the 340th...

  • First Lt. Carolyn Nielsen, press officer with the 314th Public Affairs Operation Center in Birmingham, Ala., finds a way to cool herself off after the completion of her leg of the Mercedes-Benz Marathon Relay. The 314th Public Affairs Operation Center participated in the Mercedes Marathon weekend with soldiers competing in the full, half and relay portions of the race. The event was used to as a motivational tool for soldiers of the unit to improve their physical fitness abilities and to bring the unit together as they prepare for extended combat training. Photo by Spc. Virginia Hutchins.

    26.2 reasons to run

    First Lt. Carolyn Nielsen, press officer with the 314th Public Affairs Operation Center in Birmingham, Ala., finds a way to cool herself off after the completion of her leg of the Mercedes-Benz Marathon Relay. The 314th Public Affairs Operation Center...

  • From left, Staff Sgt. Sheila Holifield, public affairs specialist with the 314th Public Affairs Operations Center, stands with Laura Tull, wife of Staff Sgt. Tull, and Kimberly Hamilton, wife of Sgt. 1st Class Kenneth Hamilton as they watch the first mile of the Mercedes-Benz Marathon. The 314th Public Affairs Operation Center participated in the Mercedes Marathon weekend with soldiers competing in the full, half and relay portions of the race. The event was used to as a motivational tool for soldiers of the unit to improve their physical fitness abilities and to bring the unit together as they prepare for extended combat training. Photo by Staff Sgt. Kevin McSwain.

    26.2 reasons to run

    From left, Staff Sgt. Sheila Holifield, public affairs specialist with the 314th Public Affairs Operations Center, stands with Laura Tull, wife of Staff Sgt. Tull, and Kimberly Hamilton, wife of Sgt. 1st Class Kenneth Hamilton as they watch the first...

  • Lt. Col. Timothy Smith, commander of the 314th Public Affairs Operations Center in Birmingham, Ala., enters a relay checkpoint during his completion of the relay marathon. The 314th Public Affairs Operation Center participated in the Mercedes Marathon weekend with soldiers competing in the full, half and relay portions of the race. The event was used to as a motivational tool for soldiers of the unit to improve their physical fitness abilities and to bring the unit together as they prepare for extended combat training. Photo by Staff Sgt. Kevin McSwain.

    26.2 reasons to run

    Lt. Col. Timothy Smith, commander of the 314th Public Affairs Operations Center in Birmingham, Ala., enters a relay checkpoint during his completion of the relay marathon. The 314th Public Affairs Operation Center participated in the Mercedes Marathon...

  • Staff Sgt. Bryan Tull, broadcast noncommissioned officer in charge with the 314th Public Affairs Operation Center in Birmingham, Ala., completes his portion of the Mercedes-Benz Marathon Relay. The 314th Public Affairs Operation Center participated in the Mercedes Marathon weekend with soldiers competing in the full, half and relay portions of the race. The event was used to as a motivational tool for soldiers of the unit to improve their physical fitness abilities and to bring the unit together as they prepare for extended combat training. Photo by Staff Sgt. Paul Roberts.

    26.2 reasons to run

    Staff Sgt. Bryan Tull, broadcast noncommissioned officer in charge with the 314th Public Affairs Operation Center in Birmingham, Ala., completes his portion of the Mercedes-Benz Marathon Relay. The 314th Public Affairs Operation Center participated in...

  • Staff Sgt. Shelia Holifield, public affairs specialist with the 314th Public Affairs Operation Center in Birmingham, Ala., completes her portion of the Mercedes-Benz Marathon Relay. The 314th Public Affairs Operation Center participated in the Mercedes Marathon weekend with soldiers competing in the full, half and relay portions of the race. The event was used to as a motivational tool for soldiers of the unit to improve their physical fitness abilities and to bring the unit together as they prepare for extended combat training. Photo by Staff Sgt. Paul Roberts.

    26.2 reasons to run

    Staff Sgt. Shelia Holifield, public affairs specialist with the 314th Public Affairs Operation Center in Birmingham, Ala., completes her portion of the Mercedes-Benz Marathon Relay. The 314th Public Affairs Operation Center participated in the Mercedes...

  • Spc. William J. Taylor, right, public affairs specialist with the 314th Public Affairs Operations Center in Birmingham, Ala., runs through the streets of downtown Birmingham during the Mercedes-Benz Marathon.  Taylor's first competitive race resulted in completing the half-marathon portion of the race as well as team relay event. The 314th Public Affairs Operation Center participated in the Mercedes Marathon weekend with soldiers competing in the full, half and relay portions of the race. The event was used to as a motivational tool for soldiers of the unit to improve their physical fitness abilities and to bring the unit together as they prepare for extended combat training. Photo by Spc. Andrew Slovensky.

    26.2 reasons to run

    Spc. William J. Taylor, right, public affairs specialist with the 314th Public Affairs Operations Center in Birmingham, Ala., runs through the streets of downtown Birmingham during the Mercedes-Benz Marathon. Taylor's first competitive race resulted...

  • Capt. Christopher Parker, public affairs officer for the 314th Public Affairs Operations Center, Birmingham, Ala., completes the final leg of the Mercedes-Benz Marathon Relay. The 314th Public Affairs Operation Center participated in the Mercedes Marathon weekend with soldiers competing in the full, half and relay portions of the race. The event was used to as a motivational tool for soldiers of the unit to improve their physical fitness abilities and to bring the unit together as they prepare for extended combat training. Photo by Spc. Andrew Slovensky.

    26.2 reasons to run

    Capt. Christopher Parker, public affairs officer for the 314th Public Affairs Operations Center, Birmingham, Ala., completes the final leg of the Mercedes-Benz Marathon Relay. The 314th Public Affairs Operation Center participated in the Mercedes...

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Legend tells the marathon originated as a dedication to the run of a Greek soldier, Pheidippides (fy-dippi-duhs). He ran from a battlefield in the town of Marathon, Greece, to Athens in 490 B.C. The tale goes on to say that he delivered the message, "victory," before he collapsed at his commander's feet.

During the Mercedes-Benz Marathon Feb. 17, 2013, soldiers of the 314th Public Affairs Operations Center proclaimed a message of victory as they competed in the full, half and relay portions of the marathon.

Each soldier wore a uniform. Not a digital-patterned camouflage uniform and tan boots; but running gear that ranged from basic pants and sweatshirts to pink professional racing shirts and purple skull caps. Each soldier was still focused on the same goal; completing their part of the competition in the best time possible.

"This gave our soldiers a goal to achieve outside of our bi-annual Army Physical Fitness Test," said Sgt. 1st Class Kenneth Hamilton, operations noncommissioned officer for the 314th PAOC. "We wanted to motivate our Soldiers to improve their physical fitness."

Hamilton competed in the full marathon with a time of 3:25:39, which was good enough to place him within the top 100 males and 16th in his age division. Hamilton's time was approximately 10 minutes shy of the qualifying time for the 2014 Boston Marathon, which is 3:15:00.

Hamilton achieved this feat during his first ever entrance into the 26.2-mile race.

His competitive nature and strong sense of the Warrior Ethos will not let him stop with this accomplishment.

"I will be competing in the Savannah Rock'n'Roll Marathon in November," he said. "I want to qualify for the 2014 Boston Marathon."

Hamilton's dedication to competition is as unique as the pink shirt, yellow shorts and purple skullcap that he wore during the race.

"My runs are dedicated to my cousin, Sherri Bostock," he said. "She had a double mastectomy and is currently going through chemotherapy to treat breast cancer."

Hamilton wore the same shirt during his completion of the Army Ten-miler in 2012.

Three soldiers competed in the half marathon. Sgt. Steven Reeves, public affairs noncommissioned officer for the 314th PAOC, finished in a time of 1:40:47; for a pace of 7:42 per mile. Sgt. Lisa Simunaci, broadcast journalist with the 314th PAOC, completed the race in 2:08:08. Spc. William Taylor, public affairs specialist with the unit, crossed the finish line in 2:22:23.

The remaining competitors from the unit competed in the five-man relay marathon. The twelve remaining soldiers were split into three teams with a marathon runner or half marathon runner as their first leg runner of the race.

The 314th PAOC 1, the first team from the unit to finish the race, recorded a time of 3:38:56. This time was good enough for a top 10 finish in the mixed team division. Team members consisted of Sgt. 1st Class Kenneth Hamilton, Cpt. Christopher Parker, Staff Sgt. Sheila Holifield, Sgt. 1st Class Jeremiah Glassford and 2nd Lt. Carolyn Nielsen.

Runners of 314th PAOC 3 finished next with a time of 3:44:11. Team members were Lt. Col. Timothy Smith, Maj. Jesse Stalder, Sgt. Steven Reeves, 1st Lt. Lewis Kyle and Staff Sgt. Bryan Tull.

314th PAOC 2 finished in a time of 3:58:54. Members of this team were Command Sgt. Maj. Christopher Luchsinger, 1st Lt. Sara Morris, Spc. William Taylor, Spc. James Clifton and Kimberly Hamilton.

"Victory," was proclaimed by all the soldiers of the 314th PAOC. Each soldier held up their part of the mission and lived up to the Army Values. This accomplishment places them in the company of a long line of athletes with a badge of honor that dates back almost 2,000 years.

Page last updated Sat May 18th, 2013 at 00:00