Fort Jackson team runs the extra mile
October 15, 2009
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Twenty-two Fort Jackson Soldiers headed to Washington recently for the 25th Army Ten-Miler. The Soldiers represented many different units across the installation and were organized into three different teams for the race. The teams were sponsored by Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation.
The Army Ten-Miler is the nation's largest 10-mile footrace, with 30,000 participants in this year's run. The race has been staged around the nation's capital starting and ending at the Pentagon since its inception in 1984.
"It's gotten so large that there are two different start times, each 10 minutes apart," said Cindi Keene, the post intramural sports coordinator. Keene has helped organize and lead the Fort Jackson team each year for the past several years.
"It is a great way for the Soldiers here to go to Washington and participate in something Army-wide. It benefits Soldiers, raises awareness for charities and is generally fun," she added.
Fort Jackson's active duty master's team, active duty men's team and active duty women's team, placed 7th, 19th and 18th in their respective categories. The post's top runner was Ricky DeShaw, who had a completion time of 63:20. Other runners were able to complete the race within their own personal goal times.
A course record was set by Alene Reta of New York, 46:59. The Brazilian army team also captured the win for the second year running as the overall fastest team.
One aspect of the race that has gained national attention is the growing group of disabled veterans who run the race each year. The group, known as Missing Parts in Action, is given a 10-minute head start before the main race participants depart. But no one begrudges them that extra time.
These veterans are mostly Operation Iraqi Freedom or Operation Enduring Freedom amputees who exhibit incredible stamina and resolved by completing the 10-mile course despite their severe injuries.
"It makes an incredibly powerful statement to be exhausted after running 10 miles and then to see a Soldier with one leg make it across the finish line. It puts your own struggle in perspective," said Ric Haeussler, one of the Fort Jackson team members.
Proceeds from the run benefit FMWR and other programs aimed at helping Soldiers. Each year the race registration period starts in April but closes within a matter of weeks due to intense popularity.
Interested runners should plan to register early or contact FMWR Sports Recreation to find out how to qualify for the Fort Jackson or other post teams.