Members of the two Fort Meade Army Ten-Miler teams stand together for a team photo near Gaffney Fitness Center before competing Sunday in the popular event in Washington, D.C.

FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, Md. (Oct. 18, 2012) -- A dozen service members from the installation will race through the streets of Washington, D.C., on Sunday with 30,000 other runners from across the world during the 28th annual Army Ten-Miler.

The two teams of six runners will represent Fort Meade at the race, which is one of the world's largest 10-mile competitions.

The event is hosted by the Military District of Washington. All race proceeds benefit Army Morale, Welfare and Recreation that support Soldier and Soldier family programs.

Preparation for this year's Fort Meade Army Ten-Miler team began in May with a qualifying 10K race. The group of runners was then set to 12, in order to form the two teams.

Participants said they joined the team, as opposed to running alone, to give themselves an extra edge.

"It pushes me," Michael Wahlgren said. "I'm competitive. So to be on a team, I want to be better than the next guy on the team."

For Steve Bichler, joining a team is a good way to get into the popular event, which sold out in 19 hours this year.

The large number of runners in the event is another draw.

"In a marathon, you're probably going to be alone at some point," Bichler said. "In the Army Ten-Miler you're never alone. There's always somebody there pushing you."

Team captain James Eberly said the Fort Meade group consists of experienced runners who have competed in endurance events, including marathons and triathlons. Many have completed previous Army Ten-Milers as well.

Although the runners form teams, competitors trained on their own as they prepared simultaneously for other events.

Page last updated Thu October 18th, 2012 at 00:00