By Scott SturkolNovember 9, 2018
Team Fort McCoy sent two teams of runners to the 2018 Army Ten-Miler competition Oct. 7 at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., and came away with second- and fourth-place finishes in the Reserve Mixed category.
The Army Ten-Miler, conducted by the U.S. Army Military District of Washington, is a 10-mile race that starts and finishes near the Pentagon and takes runners through the streets of Washington.
More than 35,000 runners from all 50 states and 19 countries, registered for the 2019 event, making it the third-largest 10-mile road race in the world, according to organizers.
"I love the camaraderie of our team," said Team Fort McCoy coach Lt. Col. Mark Woommavovah with the 181st Multi-Functional Training Brigade. "We motivated and encouraged each other the entire way. That give us that boost we needed to keep running and do well in this competition."
Of all the runners, Lt. Col. Tony Steinhoff, who will coach the 2019 Team Fort McCoy Ten-Miler group and who is from the 88th Readiness Division, was the fastest male runner for the team at 1:06:32. Staff Sgt. Beatriz Sanchez with the 311th Expeditionary Sustainment Command was the fastest female runner at 1:18:42.
Fort McCoy Team 2 earned the second place overall finish with a time of 4:54:45. Fort McCoy Team 1 placed fourth with a time of 5:11:52. Both teams had the best overall finish for Fort McCoy in several years when including all runners involved.
"The humidity slowed many runners, but it did not slow Team Fort McCoy," Woommavovah said. "It felt as if we were breathing through a mask, but that didn't stop encouragement from our teammates. During the race, we couldn't help but feel overwhelmed by the support as we saw fellow Soldiers and Wounded Warriors participating."
Woommavovah said the team's excellent finish was due to everyone on both teams working together to do their best.
"We didn't achieve our success by accident," Woommavovah said. "We achieved by dedication, hard work, and having a common goal. ... It started with a vision and a plan for success. We selected our team base on time trials, past performance, and potential future performance.
"Once the team was selected and established, we had a plan and way to employ our plan based on dedication and hard work," he said.
Team Fort McCoy used Rumpel Fitness Center as the team's training headquarters once again.
"We divide our training plan into three phases: base phase, preparation phase, and peak phase," Woommavovah said. "The base phase develops endurance, the foundation of any distance-running plan. Phase two, preparation, adds a layer of speed by introducing tempo runs and long repeats. The peak phase is characterized by short, fast workouts that simulate racing."
Team members constantly tested their training regimen by entering local running events in surrounding communities, such as Sparta, Tomah, New Lisbon, Oakdale, West Salem, and La Crosse, Woommavovah said. Races ranged from 5k and 10k events to half marathons (13.1 miles).
"Our team met three days a week for key workouts," Woommavovah said. "On our other days of training it was easy runs, plus we added cross training and strength training, aqua running, and using the elliptical machine."
In addition to Woommavovah, Steinhoff, and Sanchez, other team members who competed were:
• Chaplain (Maj.) Erik Spicer, 181st MFTB.
• Capt. William "Bill" Thomson, 1st Battalion, 310th Brigade Engineer Battalion.
• Capt. Daniel "Dan" Frantz, 1st Battalion, 291st Brigade Support Battalion.
• 1st Lt. Jerel Villanueva, 1st Battalion, 338th (1st, 338th) Training Support Battalion.
• Master Sgt. Nicholas Vance, Fort McCoy Noncommissioned Officer (NCO) Academy.
• Master Sgt. Sarah Johnson, 94th Training Division.
• Master Sgt. Jolaina Falkenstein, 88th RD.
• Capt. Adan Rivas, 1st Battalion, 351st Brigade Support Battalion.
• Sgt. 1st Class James Teague, NCO Academy.
• Sgt. 1st Class Nicholas Gimson, 3rd Battalion, 334th Regiment.
• Staff Sgt. Yahaira Lescana, 1st, 338th.
• Staff Sgt. Donald Flintroy, 181st MFTB.
• Sgt. Melissa Gore, 102nd Division.
Woommavovah said the members of the 2019 Ten-Miler team wanted to send special thanks to several people and organizations for support during the past year, including the Fort McCoy Garrison's command team and Headquarters and Headquarters Company; the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation (DFMWR); Patric McGuane, DFMWR director; Sara Wiedenfeld, Christy Stelzner, and Elizabeth Faber, DFMWR staff members; the Fort McCoy Public Affairs Office; and Rumpel Fitness Center personnel, especially Jeff Utesch and Julie Pressler.
(The 2018 Fort McCoy Army Ten-Miler Team provided information for this article.)