FORT DRUM, N.Y. -- Nearly 100 Soldiers ran in a 10K race on post Aug. 14, attempting to qualify for a spot on the Fort Drum Army Ten-Miler Team and earn a trip to Washington, D.C., in October to represent the installation at the annual Army Ten-Miler.

Every year, the 10th Mountain Division (LI) and Fort Drum's Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation sponsor a team of mixed runners and individual runners to enter the Army's premier running event -- the third-largest 10-mile road race in the world.

To kick off this year's qualifier, Soldiers lined up at 7 a.m. outside of Magrath Gym and waited for officials to signal the start of the 6.2-mile event.

During the first mile, runners sought to take as much advantage as possible of the route, which was almost completely downhill. Runners slowed a bit entering mile 2, as the course climbed half way back up the hill from the previous mile, then veered right toward Remington Pond.

Miles 3 and 4 were the flattest portions of the course, with only a few small rollers.

Mile 5 sent the runners back out to the main road where they first ran and then up a hill to the final turnaround.

This year's first-place qualifier was 1st Lt. Elliott Megquier, 210th Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team.

"I really like racing," Megquier said, after grabbing some water provided to runners by FMWR. "There was some really strong competition that came out.

"I appreciate all the support of friends, racers, spectators and staff cheering me on during the race," he added.

This year's competitors came for a variety of reasons, from wanting to win the race to testing themselves to finding a spot on the Fort Drum Army Ten-Miler Team. Some entered the competition simply because of a leader's encouragement.

No matter the reasons, event organizers said it was important to sponsor Soldiers who were looking to improve their own conditioning as well as the readiness of the units they will represent.

"We want to support the Soldiers as much as we can," said FMWR staff member Brandon Doherty. "We are looking for the very best to represent Fort Drum and the 10th Mountain Division at the Army Ten-Miler."

The top three male and female finishers of last week's race were 1st Lt. Elliott Megquier, Spc. Jeremy Machanic, Staff Sgt. Robert Olsen, Pfc. Eddah Toroitich, Spc. Cintia Ctibor and Capt. Kendra Harris.