Marne division brings the fight to Washington D.C. for Army Ten-Miler
October 14, 2011
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The wounded warriors readied themselves at the starting line. Some made last-minute maintenance checks on their hand cycles, while others stretched their arms or prepped their prosthetic legs for the race ahead.
Behind the wounded warriors, sprinkled amongst thousands of men and women from around the world, Soldiers from the Third Infantry Division, including Maj. Gen. Robert "Abe" Abrams, commanding general, and Command Sgt. Maj. Edd Watson, the division command sergeant major, prepared their bodies to honor wounded warriors, the 3rd Inf. Div., and the Army in the 27th Annual Army Ten-Miler, Oct. 9, in Washington D.C.
The race, sponsored by the Joint Force Headquarters -- National Capitol Region and the U.S. Army Military District of Washington, is held annually to promote the Army, build espirt de corps, support fitness goals and enhance community relations. Participants begin and end the race at the Pentagon, passing by national landmarks along the way.
The Army Ten-Miler is the third largest 10-mile race in the world, and it benefits Army Morale, Welfare and Recreation.
Along with sponsoring teams for the run, the 3rd Inf. Div. hosted a Hooah tent in conjunction with the Coastal Empire Chapter of the Association of the United States Army as part of post-Army-Ten-Miler activities. The tent showcased the combat effectiveness and pride of the Marne division, and featured live combatives demonstrations, video presentations, a Soldier in Marne standard--the division's battle uniform--and Rocky, the division's mascot.
Major General Abrams said it was his first time running the Army Ten-Miler and that he was impressed with the event and the division's presence in the nation's capitol.
"It was a great celebration of our Army and everything good about our Army," Maj. Gen. Abrams said. "It was really inspiring to see so many wounded warriors out running and a lot of people showing up to celebrate our Army and what makes this Army strong."
Major General Abrams added that he was proud of the division's runners.
"[Everyone has] a job that they've got to do and in their spare time they're training to come out here," Maj. Gen. Abrams said. "They did a great job representing the division."
Of the four official teams fielded by the 3rd Inf. Div.--whose membership was determined at a qualifying race held in June--the divisions' Active-Duty Women's Master's team had the best showing with a combined race completion time of six hours, 27 minutes, 34 seconds.
Members of the team, Spc. Leidy Matos, Pfc. Pamela Daigle and Capt. Manuela Bauldry, with the U.S. Army Medical Department Activity for Fort Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield, and Spc. Lebohang Mothapo, with the 110th Quartermaster Company, 260th Quartermaster Battalion, 3rd Sustainment Brigade, 3rd Inf. Div., placed third overall in the category.
Private First Class Daigle, a medical laboratory specialist and native of Granville, New York, said she ran 30 miles a week for three months to prepare for the race.
While she ran the Army Ten-Miler to challenge herself, the medical laboratory specialist said she also participated in the event to honor her two brothers who are currently deployed--and for everyone who serves.
"I would just like to thank all of the other service members [who] are overseas … fighting the battle for everybody back here in the United States," Pfc. Daigle said. "Sometimes it feels like their spirit is here with us and our spirit is there with them trying to motivate them."