Muleskinners hold demanding marathon challenge
June 9, 2011
As part of its ongoing Muleskinner Challenge, 10th Sustainment Brigade conducted a marathon May 31 on Fort Drum.
Since June of last year, the brigade has held a series of physically demanding events called the Muleskinner Challenge.
The first challenge was a two-day, 194-mile bicycle race all through the Adirondack Park. The second was the Adirondack Marathon at Schroon Lake, and the third was a winter quadrathlon, held on Fort Drum, that included 10 kilometers of cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, sled pulling and rifle marksmanship.
The Muleskinner Challenges are the brainchild of Col. Kurt J. Ryan, 10th Sustainment Brigade commander.
“The challenges were created with the goal of building resiliency in a population of Soldiers who want to accomplish something hard, increasing unit cohesion and instilling a sense of pride and belonging,” he said.
More than 70 competitors assembled next to 548th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion headquarters at 4 a.m. May 31 to begin the 26.2-mile run.
To prepare for the rigors of a marathon run, Muleskinner Challenge participants began a regimented training schedule in March that consisted of 14 training runs that varied in length from six to 24 miles and totaled 180 miles.
This was the first marathon and first Muleskinner Challenge for Spc. Joseph Moffitt, who works in the 10th Sustainment Brigade command group.
“I’ve always wanted to run a marathon, just to say I did it, “he said.
While this was his first marathon, it may also be his last.
“I feel like I have accomplished something, but I won’t do another,” he said. “It was like an all-you-can-eat buffet of pain out there.”
The first to finish, with a time of 3 hours, 48 minutes, 45 seconds, was 1st Lt. David Yee from the Office of the Staff Judge Advocate, 10th Mountain Division (LI).
This was the second marathon for Yee, who also has run the Marine Corp Marathon in Wash- ington, D.C.
Yee said some of the biggest challenges were the hills and hunger.
“Toward the end I started to get hungry, and I was thinking, ‘I want a muffin, I want a waffle,’” Yee said.
First Lt. Walter Sprengler, executive officer of 514th Maintenance Company, 548th CSSB, finished second, while 2nd Lt. Brendan T. Collins, a platoon leader with 543rd Quartermaster Company, 548th CSSB, came in third.
While nearly all of the runners came from units within 10th Sustainment Brigade, there were a few guests, most notably Command Sgt. Maj. Terry Parham, post command sergeant major.
Parham finished in the top eight, made even more impressive by the fact he was the oldest participant.
The Muleskinner Challenge IV will conclude Sunday with participation in the Lake Placid Mar-athon.