Steven Carr, mechanical engineering lead in the AMRDEC Prototype Integration Facility, competes in the 2012 Boston Marathon.

REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. -- Two members of Aviation, Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center's Prototype Integration Facility caught the fitness bug and took advantage of the Army's wellness policy that led them -- stride-by-stride -- to the 2012 Boston Marathon.

Steven Carr, mechanical engineering lead, and Whitney Montgomery, government project lead, learned of the AMRDEC policy and their leadership's endorsement of a voluntary physical fitness program for full-time civilian employees to ensure their health and help balance personal wellness initiatives with the work environment.

For Carr, who participated in the fitness program from June to November 2010 and then ran the Rocket City Marathon, the AMRDEC policy gave him a push to accomplish more.

"I am really thankful for programs like the one that helped jump start my active lifestyle and discover my passion for running," Carr said.

Montgomery's road to the Boston Marathon went through Joplin, Mo., as she qualified in the Mother Road Race.

The two PIF teammates competed in the second highest temperatures ever recorded for the Boston race -- 2,000 runners received medical attention and about 100 were taken to local hospitals. Carr and Montgomery gave it their all to overcome mental and physical obstacles to complete the marathon.

"I had been in Boston for two days and was a bit familiar with the area. When I saw a huge CITGO sign I felt I was almost there -- the excitement helped push me," Montgomery said.

The sign she recognized didn't put her where she thought she was in the race. Inspiration had to come from another source, and Boston Marathon fans gave her what she needed.

"I realized the home stretch was further than I thought, but the crowds were cheering everywhere. Each runner had their name on their arms so people were calling your name and encouraging you, which was a boost," Montgomery said.

A little more than a month after the 26.2 mile race, Carr reflected on his journey to improve his health and offered his own inspiration to fellow AMRDEC teammates.

"Regardless of your current health status or personal health goals, you should consider taking advantage of employer provided wellness programs to improve your health and lifestyle. Any type of positive change will benefit the employee and employer," Carr said.

Page last updated Fri May 18th, 2012 at 00:00