Record field for Army Ten-Miler benefits Morale, Welfare and Recreation
October 23, 2013
WASHINGTON (Oct. 23, 2013) -- Three attendance records were broken at the 29th running of the Army Ten-Miler, where a record 35,000 registered runners generated funds for Army Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation programs.
In a year of unprecedented economic uncertainty caused by a partial shutdown of the U.S. government, runners exhibited an unprecedented passion for the largest Army MWR sporting event in the world, and America's second-largest 10-mile road race.
Two more records fell on race day: 25,825 started the race, and more than 25,000 completed the Oct. 20 run around Washington's most scenic monuments that started and ended at the Pentagon.
"We've never hit those numbers before: starters or finishers," Army Ten-Miler Operations Manager George Banker said. "Those are dedicated runners. They are dedicated, and they've got the passion."
During the past five years, financial management officials said the Family and MWR Fund received more than $3 million from profits generated by the Army Ten-Miler. Those dollars provided financial stability and, in turn, the ability for Army garrisons to invest in such things as the building of cabins and picnic areas, construction of playgrounds at travel camps, installation of self-checkout stations in libraries, the purchase of alignment systems and hydraulic lifts for auto crafts, and a myriad of other projects designed to enhance services and recreational activities for Soldiers and families.
Earlier proceeds from the Army Ten-Miler were used to renovate bowling centers on installations, to purchase buses that transport military children to Army Child and Youth Services events, to build Internet Cafes, and to construct golf-cart paths, to name a few. These MWR projects enhanced lives of Soldiers, their families, civilian employees, retirees and other eligible MWR patrons.
With military cost-cutting measures in place at the 2013 Army Ten-Miler, there were no Golden Knights parachuting into the parking lot and no fighter-jets-in-formation flying overhead, but those cuts did not deter runners. The "Hooah!" spirit prevailed, and MWR benefited from every registered participant, including those with no intent of running who merely wanted a $65 event T-shirt, and perhaps, to support Army MWR.
"I would venture to say, and I wouldn't be far off the mark, every single person who is running out there, they've got a story," Banker said. "The majority of them are running for somebody who is in the military, either they're wounded or they got killed in action, but they're doing it for someone other than themselves. They're doing it in somebody's memory."
Banker is equally passionate about the uniqueness of the Army Ten-Miler.
"Those out there are not running for a [personal record]," he said. "That's not their purpose. The personal record is for the ones up front. The rest of them are out there for those personal goals and those personal stories.
"And to me, that's the soul of the race, because a lot of races can't say that. It's more than health and fitness, because they keep coming back. It's about, 'Hey, I crossed that finish line, and that's all I wanted to do.' That's the atmosphere for the event."
The women's winner, Kerri Gallagher, set another event record with a winning time of 54 minutes, 56 seconds, eclipsing the 55:25 clocking set in 2009, by Samia Akbar of Herndon, Va., on a slightly different course.
"Getting that record was icing on the cake," Banker said. "I knew something had to drop."
There was no drop in participation, however, of which Army MWR was the greatest beneficiary.