FORT BENNING, Ga. (October 9, 2018) -- A team of eight Soldiers, seven male and one female, officers and enlisted, represented the Maneuver Center of Excellence at Fort Benning, Georgia, at the annual Army Ten-Miler Oct. 7. As Fort Benning celebrates its Centennial, the running team also celebrated first place in the active duty mixed team category.

More than 30,000 people crowded the streets of the Pentagon at the Washington D.C. race, making it the second largest ten-mile race in the United States. This year the course was new: ten miles through the capital's historic landmarks with the start and finish line at the Pentagon.

2nd Lt. Aaqib Syed, a current Infantry Basic Office Course (IBOLC) student, crossed the finish line placing 23rd overall with a time of 54:41, which he said is 10 seconds off his personal best time.

Shortly after Syed's finish, came teammate Capt. Colin Johnson who finished with a time of 55:42, and placed 32nd overall.

"I was really proud running with the Benning team, everyone was great," Syed said. "I ran with Colin for six to seven miles. We pushed each other working as a team. We both finished strong, and the rest of the team finished strong."

The rest of the Fort Benning team followed soon after to win first place in the active duty mixed team category.

Sgt. Claud Bugheni, assigned to Martin Army Community Hospital at Fort Benning, who finished in 1:04:45, is a seasoned Fort Benning Army Ten Miler runner. This will be his last time representing MCoE as he is set to move to another duty station.

"Coming from Fort Benning and running on this team is truly esprit-de-corps," Bugheni said. "Every time someone yells 'Fort Benning!' it makes me run even faster, and pushes me even further."

Maj. Gen. Gary Brito, commander of the Maneuver Center of Excellence at Fort Benning, proudly presented the award to the team alongside the Vice Chief of Staff of the United Stated Army Gen. James McConville and Sgt. Maj. of the Army Daniel Dailey.

Participants and spectators alike visited the MCoE tent where videos and visual displays highlighted the importance and the unique aspects of the maneuver force, as well as information about the Centennial. The top attraction at the MCoE tent was the pull-up bar which created a sense of competition as participants throughout the event attempted breaking each other's records.