By Rachael Tolliver, US Army Cadet CommandOctober 12, 2014
Asking why anyone would run ten miles is sort of like asking, why would anyone jump out of a perfectly good airplane? For people who thrive on such experiences, it's fun.
The Army Ten-miler is held in Washington, DC., every year since 1986 as a way to bring people together and increase awareness of the Army in a different way than a traditional recruiting event. And more than 30,000 people run the ten-mile race "for fun."
Jaye C. Gamble, a sophomore at the University of Virginia, is one of those people. He said he was running the race because he'd heard it's a fun one to run and a change of pace from the usual run around the campus grounds.
"Even my own father is running it, so why not?" he added.
"J.C. and I will run this race together, and while he is running for ROTC, I am running for Team Fisher House," Jaye Sr., explained.
The pre-commerce major, who is interested in finance and accounting, also volunteers for the university's CASH program, designed to help file tax returns for people in the community who cannot afford to hire tax accountants.
Gamble is also an Army ROTC Cadet who said events such as this were good team building exercises and that if he stumbles or falls behind in the run he knows other ROTC Cadets will be there to help him, and he them.
But while people like Gamble participate for the fun of the run, others have a different purpose.
East Tennessee State University hosts a run club called the Joe Callahan Running Club. It is made up of ROTC Cadets, students and faculty from across the school.
According to Mack Roberts, who works in the military science department at the school, the club was renamed in late 2013 in honor of retired Army Lt. Col. Joseph James Callahan.
Callahan was a former ETSU ROTC graduate who was an avid runner and had participated in the Army 10 Miler several times.
"He was tragically killed in early 2013 while training for the Army Ten Miler when he was struck by a car while riding his bicycle," Robert's explained.
Helping to lead the team in this run will be former president Cadet Nicholas Miller, a Soldier who deployed five times to Afghanistan before joining ROTC while finishing his degree.
"It is an honor to wear Joe Callahan's name on my shirt at the race. He was training specifically for the Army Ten Miler when the accident happened and I am appreciative to be able to go to the race and wear his name," Miller said.
This year will be the first year the club will be officially recognized by its new name and will run the race in honor of Callahan. One of his two sons ran the race with the team, clad in a blue tee-shirt with the team logo.
Joseph Callahan Jr., is a firefighter in Fairfax Virginia. He enjoys Lacrosse and Crossfit, but when his dad suggested Joe sign up for his first Army Ten Miler a couple of years ago, the younger Callahan agreed.
"My father didn't lead by what he said, he lead by what he did," Callahan explained. "Nothing could be more motivating for me than knowing that ETSU dedicated the running club after him. He was a great athlete.
"My father believed in doing the right thing and that there was nothing else. He wanted us to work hard, to not find any excuses to why something didn't go our way, and to enjoy every step of the journey. "