By Chelsea Bissell, U.S. Army Garrison Bavaria Public AffairsJune 30, 2014
GRAFENWOEHR, Germany -- Don't call it beginner's luck, but Spc. Caroline Jepleting really nailed the first race she ever ran.
Jepleting, from Alpha Company, Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, was the first woman to cross the finish line at the Europe Army Ten-Miler Qualifier, here, June 28.
With a time of 61 minutes, 37 seconds, she not only beat the second-fastest woman by more than seven minutes, but set a new course record for the qualifier here.
About 250 Soldiers and civilians ran in this year's Army Ten-Miler Qualifier, which chooses the six fastest male and female Soldiers to represent Europe in the Army Ten-Miler in Washington, D.C., in October.
Most runners train hard for the race, hoping for a slot on the team and the chance to represent Europe in the capital.
For Jepleting, though, the decision was made on a whim, the night before the race, which marked the first time she ever ran 10 miles.
"My main goal was just to finish," said Jepleting. "It was a good race and it was a good start for me."
Where an up-and-coming runner dominated the women, a veteran Ten-Miler champ led the males.
Capt. John King, Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, U.S. Army Europe, who won the race in 2013, set the pace this year, breaking the tape at 55 minutes, 50 seconds.
Though he finished a minute slower this year, King feels confident about the group of six men heading to Washington this fall.
"It was an interesting, engaging race with several lead changes and moving around," said King. "It was a tighter group this year and I think we'll have a really competitive team."
While Jepleting is excited for the race in D.C., she hasn't given much thought about her game plan this fall.
"My goal is to just get out there and do my best," she said. "It all depends on how I wake up in the morning."
Men's Europe Ten-Miler team:
1. Capt. John King -- Wiesbaden
2. Capt. Zac Reiter -- Vicenza
3. Spc. Andrew Kirwa -- Bavaria
4. Pfc. Abel Gutierrez -- Bavaria
5. Spc. Felix Kiboiywo -- Bavaria
6. Pfc. Edwin Sitienei -- Stuttgart
Women's Europe Ten-Miler team:
1. Spc. Caroline Jepleting -- Landstuhl
2. 1st Lt. Jessica Letarte -- Bavaria
3. Capt. Samantha Rieger -- Ansbach
4. 1st Lt. Sarah Paulsworth -- Baumholder
5. Staff Sgt. Tanya Davis -- Ansbach
6. Maj. Susan Pierson -- Kaiserslautern