BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan - Soldiers from the 17th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion Headquarters participated in the Run to Home Base 10K here July 18. Among them was 1st Lt. Justina Sisler, the battalion S-4 Officer in Charge, who took second place in the female category. Sisler's unit, the 17th CSSB - currently deployed as part of the 45th Sustainment Brigade CENTCOM Materiel Recovery Element, is assisting to manage a steady, responsible drawdown of personnel and equipment throughout Afghanistan.

Sisler said she first ran competitively during her high school years as part of the cross-country and track teams. It's an activity she has been competing in for the last 10 years. In March 2009, she ran the Bataan Death March Memorial Marathon in the military light division and finished third place in the female category, completing the 26.2 mile race in just five hours.

In October 2013, Sisler was the first female to cross the finish line at 67 minutes in the U.S. Army Alaska (USARAK) 10-Miler at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska. She was then chosen to be a member of the USARAK Army 10-Miler team that competed in Washington, D.C. Sisler stated she was two minutes shy of meeting the time requirement for the official All Army Women's Cross Country Team. Her goal this year, she said, is to compete in the Bagram Airfield Shadow Run for the Army 10-Miler and run it in less than 65 minutes so she can qualify for the All Army Women's Cross Country Team.

"My favorite race that I've ran so far is the Spartan Race," said Sisler. "It was a 10-mile course full of challenging obstacles."

Sisler enjoyed the added challenge climbing up walls of mud and jumping over fire pits to the normal cadence of a race. Instead of solely focusing on her breathing and stride, she said she used creativity and critical thinking to traverse the various obstacles, which heightened the excitement of the competition.

After the Run to Home Base 10K, Sisler's motivation for running has been intensified. "Don't hold back and know where the finish line is," said Sisler. "Or someone can beat you in the last 200 meters."

Sisler was referencing another female runner who beat her in the last few seconds of the Run to Home Base 10K. She said she is now, more than ever, determined to participate in every race at Bagram Airfield in order to improve her time and take on her competitors again.