By Michael Norris, Pentagram Assistant EditorJuly 8, 2013
JOINT BASE MYER-HENDERSON HALL. Va. - Fifteen runners participated in a June 28 Army Ten-Miler qualifier that looped across Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall in hopes of obtaining one of 40 slots reserved for the JBM-HH team on race day Oct. 20. The 10K qualifier (6.2 miles) began on Wainwright Road behind the Fort Myer Fitness Center, headed north to Jackson Avenue, proceeding east until Jackson turns into Marshall Drive, then south on McNair Road to Pershing Drive west, and finally onto Sheridan Avenue north, where it concluded under an inflatable arch in the fitness center parking lot.
The race included soldiers from the 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard), personnel from U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters near Fort McNair and a National Guard soldier. This was the first of two JBM-HH Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation qualifiers that will be held on base leading up to the October race. The final qualifier is scheduled to take place July 26 outside the Fort Myer Fitness Center.
Race organizers Todd Hopkins, DFMWR recreation specialist and special events coordinator, and Brandie DeRemer, DFMWR chief of athletics and fitness, cheered runners on from the fitness center parking lot as they completed one, two, then three loops of the course.
Col. James C. Markert, 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment commander, provided incentive of another sort from the sidelines as his people padded their way along Sheridan Avenue. "Hey," he called out in jest to one Old Guard soldier. "Some guys just passed you and said they had your lunch money."
Markert said it was good to have some of his soldiers running in the qualifier; that usually, leading up to Army Ten-Miler race day, his soldiers are caught up in behind-the-scenes logistical support, making sure the race goes off smoothly.
First to cross the finish line was The Old Guard's Andy Cahoy, who came in with a time of 34:21.
"I'm very happy with my time," he said, explaining that he did a lot of cycling and swimming to prepare for the race. "It's a good course," he added, although in consulting the fitness tracker he wore on his arm, he calculated the race as being closer to six miles than the regulation 6.2.
Second place was claimed by David Kessler of the Coast Guard, who clocked in at 37:30. He said he has never run the Army Ten-Miler before, but hopes to compete in October. Kessler said he was impressed with the relentless pace Cahoy set. Catching up and passing The Old Guard Soldier, he said, "was not in the realm of the possible."
Ishmael Matthews, who works at the National Guard Bureau, clocked in at 55:10.
"Getting in under an hour was my goal. This is my first 10K. I just graduated from being a walker," he joked, admitting that he's taken part in "lots of 5Ks, the Shamrock Shuffle and the Iwo Jima 7K."
Crystal Safarian of The Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps came in third place for women at 55:44. She said she was happy with her time, having averaged a nine-minute mile. She credited yoga and a recent trip home to Utah, where she hiked at high elevations, for her placement in the run.
Still, Safarian wasn't cocky. "I got lapped by the guy who came in first," she said. "That was exciting!"