FORT RUCKER, Ala. (May 8, 2014) -- Runners were challenged May 3 as they ascended and descended hill after rolling hill during Fort Rucker's 10-Mile Race and Relay.

Five registered relay teams with five members each, along with 50 individual runners brought the tally of participants to 75. All of whom seemed to have a good time, once the race was complete.

"The route for this race is really difficult -- no one has their best or fastest performance on this route. But, it is a good challenge and people get to see who has a lot of heart to get up and complete the course on a Saturday morning," said David Seymour, Fort Rucker 10-Mile Team co-captain. "At mile seven, there is a 100-foot elevation climb, which really challenges every runner, from beginner to expert."

Although the course makes runners dig deep, many thought it was still a great chance to get out with the Family.

"It is a good Family activity, so my wife is running with a stroller with our son," said Sgt. 1st Class John Mursch, A Company, 1st Battalion, 223rd Aviation Regiment. "I think it's important for Families to stay fit, and it can be fun if you do it together."

Mursch said he likes running because it is a cheap sport and is cathartic for him.

"You get into a zone, especially over long distances," he said. "I am glad the installation has longer races than a typical 5k. I know everyone here will have a good time."

The overall winners of the race were: male overall, David Seymour; male master, John Mursch; male grandmaster, Romy Requijo; female overall, Aleashia Liddle; female master, Geri Wiesler; and female grandmaster, Nina Korges.

"Ten miles is a lot to cover, but (running long distances) can benefit people's hearts, bones, and a person's overall endurance and strength," said Lynn Avila, Fort Rucker fitness programs coordinator. "The people who sign up for this race have a lot of dedication to the sport and typically really enjoy running."

Running in the relay, she added, is also a great way to strengthen friendships and build camaraderie.

The race is the kickoff for the 10-Mile Team's season -- many new team members are recruited through the race and it gives old members a way to test out their bodies for the new year.

"This race is the first real distance race on post all year long, and allows enough time for people to begin to train for the Army-10 Miler in the fall," said Seymour. "The race also attracts a large span of people who might not be aware that Fort Rucker sends a team to the race each year and would like to participate."

The practices are open to all abilities and all ages of runners, Soldier and civilian, but the final team is made up of active-duty male and female Soldiers. The team will compete in the Army 10-Miler Oct. 12 in the nation's capital.

"The practices are designed so all levels of fitness will reap benefits, but actual team selection will be the best performers," he said. "Running is good for all body types. The cardio can help people who want to lose weight and for those who are already in great shape to reach the next higher fitness level."

The team will practice four to six times a week at different times and locations throughout the week.

For more information on joining the Fort Rucker 10-Mile Team, call 334-400-5582 or 817-919-9221.