Army Ten-Miler shadow run held at Bagram Air Field
September 24, 2013
BAGRAM, Afghanistan - More than 700 U.S. and coalition force service members and civilians representing eight different countries gathered in the early morning to participate in a shadow run for the 29th Annual Army Ten-Miler hosted by Combined Joint Task Force - 101, at Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan, Sept. 22.
Patriotism, personal goals and persistence were the runners' themes.
"It's the Army Ten-Miler," said U.S. Army Sgt. Nicole Linn, behavioral health specialist, 101st Sustainment Brigade. "It's patriotic."
Wanting to run the Ten-Miler, but unable to at Fort Campbell, Ky., Spc. Nicole Chojnacky, a medic with the 101st Sustainment Brigade, takes advantage of the opportunity while on deployment.
"I always wanted to do the Ten-Miler," said Chojnacky.
Staff Sgt. Antoinette Crutchfield, a human resources specialist with the 101st Sustainment Brigade, was a little nervous to begin her first Army Ten-Miler.
"This is something I have never done before," said Crutchfield. "I couldn't sleep. I don't know what to expect."
The Army's premier running event began with the National Anthem, a prayer for protection from Capt. Michael Coleman, the chaplain, 101st Airborne Div. Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, and comments of safety and to have fun by Maj. Gen. James McConville, commander,Combined Joint Task Force -101 and Regional Command East.
Sgt. Maj. of the Army Raymond Chandler, while at Bagram Air Field to visit with Soldiers, did the countdown to start the run.
The course took the runners from one side of the base and back again, ending at the Post Exchange parking lot.
"I finished with a time I wanted," said Sgt. Suzanne Kusick, a flutist with the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) Band, finishing in the women's top 10.
Top male finishers were: U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael Miller, 1 hour, 2 minutes; U.S. Army Col. Neil Hersey, 1:03; French Army Maj. Oliver Poillerat, 1:08. Top female finishers were: civilian Erin Valoscsik, 1 hour, 14 minutes; ; civilian Tereza Ververkova, 1:15; U.S. Army Sgt. Ashley Killian, 1:17.
A birthday wish sign and flashy attire were some of the unique features of this year's run in Bagram.
Shadow runs are being held in 11 other areas of Afghanistan and also in Pakistan, Kosovo, Korea, Egypt, Cuba and Kuwait. The race is held annually in Washington D.C., in October.
Beginning as a way to promote the Army, build esprit de corps, support physical fitness and build community relations, the number of participants increased from 1,379 participants for the first race in 1985 to registration capping at 35,000 in recent years. The race is the third largest 10-mile race in the world and is generally sold out in less than 12 hours. More than 250,000 runners have participated since 1985.
The only cancellation was due to the terrorist attacks in 2001.