Fort Rucker runners excel at national level
November 21, 2013
FORT RUCKER, Ala. (November 21, 2013) -- The eight-member Fort Rucker 10-Miler Team claimed the second-place division finish during the 29th running of the Army 10-Miler Race in October, and though the training season is over its runners are still pushing themselves to run faster than the wind.
There were 35,000 registered runners with more than 26,000 participants finishing the race, according to the results, and the team beat the old post record by 1 minute and 51 seconds with a scored time of 3 hours, 57 minutes and 38 seconds. It finished 18th out of 421 teams.
The team, as a whole, made great accomplishments, but team members made even more individually by pushing through injuries, making personal records and being recognized as some of the top military runners in the world.
Staff Sgt. David Seymour, a small group leader at the NCO Academy and captain of the team, finished 80th overall out of all military competing men with a time of 58:46. Teammate 2nd Lt. Brian Morenus, D Company, 1st Battalion, 145th Aviation Regiment, finished 23rd out of all military males at 54:43. Second Lt. Mark Freeman, 1st Bn., 145th Avn. Regt., finished 101st out of competing military males with a time of 59:47, and 2nd Lt. Jennifer MacGibbon, D Co., 1st Bn., 145th Avn. Regt., at the time of competition, finished eighth out of all military females with a time of 64:23.
MacGibbon, who has since transferred to Hawaii, is now being considered for the All-Army Cross Country Team.
"This was the first time I had ever run the Army 10 Miler and I'm really happy that I placed so high. I worked really hard and I beat my personal record by about seven minutes," said MacGibbon, who is now with D Troop, 2nd Bn., 6th Calvary Regt..
She was approached by Lt. Col. Liam Collins, All-Army Cross Country Team coach, after the race. He told her that her time qualified her for the team and that she needed to put in an application.
The team takes the top six applications for the women's team, and though she thought that she might make the team, she didn't expect to be considered for the next five years.
"I thought getting on the team was something I could build up to later in my career, I never thought I would be at the caliber I am at now so soon," she said. "It feels amazing just to be considered. Getting the training I have the past six months with the Fort Rucker team has really made me feel better about my running ability."
MacGibbon will find out if she was accepted to the team next month. If she makes the team she will represent the Army at the U.S.A National Championship and the Armed Forces Championship in February, competing against Olympians and other military all-stars.
Post and personal records were not the only thing broken during the race.
CW4 Stephanie Rose, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Bn., 14th Avn. Regt., finished 83rd out of all military women at 71:57 with a second metatarsal head break in her foot, which she trained on for a month before the race, thinking it was just a twisted ankle.
Rose said that the team was so successful because of its diverse team members and dedication.
"I think that any type of extra physical activity outside the Army minimum shows exceptional standards of officers and NCOs," she said. "Everyone on the team came from a different place in their career and has different background experience, and this team has brought us from all different walks of military life together to work towards a common goal.
"Everybody improved from start to finish, and based off of different life lessons and experiences everybody has grown as a Soldier and a runner," she continued.
This was the first time that most of the team had run in the Army 10-Miler, but all of them agreed that it's overall feel of support and motivation for the participants was "really inspiring."
"Seeing the support that the Army community shows for not only athletics but for recovering wounded warriors is great," said Morenus. "Pride in our service is very cool, that really amazed me the most.
"When I was running a woman was standing on the sidelines and she yelled, 'Go Rucker!' as I passed. And you just know she was a part of Army Aviation -- she was a part of our little community -- and that was very heartening to see and hear."
Morenus was in survival, evasion, resistance and escape training the last several weeks before the race, but he said he was prepared mentally and physically to make sure he was in top running shape before he left for Washington.
"The race you run is the race you run," he said. "Missing training towards the end was a non issue for me because I had to make do with what I had and make the best of those weeks I was out."
Team members felt that finding the balance between the pressure of training and their professional demands was one of the hardest things about preparing for the race. And though the team had a few mix-ups with their bibs before the race began, everything between training, plane tickets and uniforms was worked out and the team was set up for success when the air horn sounded.