WASHINGTON - Fort Rucker's Army 10-Miler team took first place at this year's 26th annual run of the same name Oct. 24.

Cool temperatures and sunny skies made for great running weather as the team competed in the Open Mixed Team category with a collective team time of 4:25:07.

This year's team, made up of enlisted Soldiers, warrant officers and commissioned officers from the active, Guard and Reserve components had many new faces to the Fort Rucker team with only two of them running the race previously. But that didn't stop them from taking top honors for the third time in four years.

Team Captain CW2 Steve Abernathy, 1st Warrant Officer Company, said he knew they would place in the top five, but first was a somewhat pleasant surprise.

"We had a few runners with some minor injuries so I wasn't sure how it would go," he said. "I think what played to our benefit was the terrain and the weather here. The routes we train on are much harder than what we had today and the weather was perfect. We've been training with each other for 5 months and that really paid off for us today, too."

This particular category includes a mixed team of eight with both male and female runners. This year's team had two females and six males.

One of the females, Capt. Amanda Renney, who serves in the Washington State National Guard, said she was a little nervous at first.

"I have never run in a big race like this before, so that was a little nerve racking. But what really helped was one of my male teammates who is a pretty seasoned runner said he was nervous, too, so that actually helped me when I knew I wasn't the only one," she said. "I mean knowing we had a lot of people here cheering us on, to include the commanding general and all the local (Association of the United States Army) chapter people, we really wanted to perform well for them as well as ourselves, of course."

Renney did perform well, she beat the personal goal time she set for herself of 7 A,A1/2- minute miles.

"I just have to say that this team has become a mini-family," Abernathy added. "Because we're made up of Soldiers from around the Army with most in training, some will be gone by next year's race and it's going to be hard to let them go. We really have enjoyed working as a team."

Brig. Gen. Anthony G. Crutchfield, U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence and Fort Rucker commanding general, said the team's effort is a great accomplishment considering this was the first time they ran together as a team and the fact they all have pretty demanding "day jobs."

"When I talked to them before the race, I told them to just do their best and have fun. We are very proud of their effort and how hard they worked getting ready for this race. What a great thing for them to be able to say they took first place at the Army's 10-Miler, what a great thing for Fort Rucker, too," Crutchfield said.

The rest of the team members are: Staff Sgt Matthew Kinney, U.S. Army School of Aviation; 1st Sgt Jeffrey Herzog, Noncommissioned Officer Academy; 2nd Lt. William Eggers, WO1 Wesley Wilk, 2nd Lt. Niko Temple and 2nd Lt. Maria Paris all of Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 145th Aviation Regiment.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16