Picatinny Ten-Milers exude 'esprit de corps' in race
October 19, 2011
PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. -- Twenty-four Picatinny community members traded their military uniforms and business attire for sneakers and running clothes during the 27th Army Ten Miler in Washington, D.C., Oct. 9.
The Picatinnyans were part of 30,000 Army supporters who participated in the event, which began at the Pentagon, circled a scenic course through D.C., and then concluded again at the Pentagon.
"It's an esprit de corps builder to show that we're all Army strong," Picatinny Senior Commander and Army Ten Miler participant Brig. Gen. Jonathan Maddux said of the race. "It helps culminate the pinnacle of our Army values and brings us all together. The Army has a show of force of 30,000 people out here. That's tremendous."
This was Maddux's seventh Army Ten Miler.
In addition to building group morale, the Army's annual 10-mile race promotes the Army, supports fitness goals, and enhances community relations, according to the Army Ten Miler website.
Picatinny was well-represented at the annual event by three eight-member teams -- one military team, one civilian team and one mixed team.
"The civilian and military teams were competitive teams - we had runoffs and the slots were filled based on who had the best times," Maddux explained.
The mixed team was selected based on a lottery drawing that was open to everyone on the installation.
"The third team was a lottery team to encourage other runners who may have less than speedy times to run with us. It was a competitive process and those that didn't make the teams entered the lottery along with everyone else who wanted to run but didn't want to be competitive," Maddux explained.
In preparation of the event, Picatinny held practices every Monday and then had two run-off races on Saturday to compete and select the two teams.
David DeCandia, a Contracting Officer for the Army Contracting Command -- Picatinny, qualified for the Picatinny Civilian Team.
This was DeCandia's first Army Ten Miler. Picatinny Army Ten Miler team organizer Maj. Chris Conley invited DeCandia to try out for the Ten Miler after the Picatinny 5K Armed Forces Day run in May.
"(Maj. Conley) invited anyone running the 5K who wanted to participate in the Army Ten Miler to join him at 6 a.m. every Monday for training runs. I decided to give it a try, and I really began to enjoy it. Once I got to know the other runners and built that camaraderie, I felt compelled to run the actual race with them as a team."
"I thought the race was very well organized, and I truly enjoyed myself," he added.
"The supporters were terrific, and it was a pleasure to be able to run the streets of our nation's capitol city without having to dodge traffic. It was really cool to see the wounded warriors out there with us, and it was really awesome taking in the sights and landmarks of the city."
The 10 mile road race is one of the largest 10 mile races in the world and is the Army's premier running event. Military and civilian runners come from all over the world to take part in this annual tradition. The Army Ten-Miler is produced by the United States Army Military District of Washington and all proceeds go to the Army's Morale, Welfare and Recreation fund.