CAMP ZAMA, Japan (July 8, 2019) -- Members of the U.S. Army Japan Army Ten-Miler team beat out dozens of competitors in qualifying races earlier this summer, and now they're training in earnest for the October race.
The Army Ten-Miler takes place in Washington, D.C., Oct. 13, and the team, which includes four men and two women, will compete in the active-duty mixed team category, said Stefan Thompson, chief of fitness, athletics and aquatics for Camp Zama Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation.
Last year the team finished 20th out of 57 teams, according to the 2018 results. Only active-duty Soldiers are eligible to make the team, and with the most recent numbers showing roughly 1,500 eligible USARJ Soldiers, the team has done well in the past considering the size of the bases they were up against.
The team members include: Capt. Dustin Thomas, assigned to Medical Activity Japan, Camp Zama; Pfc. Max Ramirez, assigned to the 38th Air Defense Artillery Brigade, Camp Zama; Capt. Michael Rothenberger, assigned to U.S. Army Japan Aviation, Camp Zama; Spc. Joseph Rudolph, assigned to MEDDAC-J, Camp Zama; Staff Sgt. Philip Lance, assigned to 1st Battalion, 1st Special Forces Group -- Airborne, Torii Station; Sgt. Tony Jackson, assigned to 311th Military Intelligence Battalion; Capt. Gloria Freck, assigned to the 35th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, Camp Zama; and Staff Sgt. Jennifer Cornelius, assigned to Torii Station.
Camp Zama Soldiers participated in a 10-mile qualifying race June 10, and Torii Station Soldiers held their qualifying race June 17. Camp Zama FMWR officials, however, waited until July 8 to announce the team until they had received all the memorandums of good standing from the Soldiers' commands. The memorandums are a requirement for team membership.
Thomas came in first in the Camp Zama qualifying race with a time of 1 hour, 2 minutes and 5 seconds. This will be his fifth time running the race, he said, and he looks forward to the atmosphere the race produces in Washington, D.C.
"It's an awesome 'hooah' event," Thomas said. "It's a great morale event for the Soldiers. It's fun to come and compete against all the other installations and see what their best Ten-Milers can do."
Ramirez came in second in the Camp Zama qualifying race with a time of 1:5:59. This will be his first time running the race, he said.
Ramirez, who joined the Army about a year ago and ran long distance in college, said he ran the qualifying race hoping to earn a spot on the team and looks forward to the race.
Freck finished the qualifying race with a time of 1:29:40 and this will also be her first time running the Ten-Miler.
"I look forward to running in our nation's capital," Freck said. "I have been to Washington, D.C., several times and I love the area. D.C. is such a historic landmark and it would be a great experience to represent USARJ at the Army Ten-Miler."
Lance said he is proud to have made the team and is excited for the opportunity to compete against the best runners in the Army.
Thompson said team members do not typically train together, but some units will help with training.
"Most of the training is done on an individual level," Thompson said. "The runners that we usually send end up being pretty elite runners that are already doing some type of facet of training."
Thomas said he recommends runners training for the race stay consistent and stay injury free.
"Don't do anything too crazy," he said.