By Ms. Mary Markos (IMCOM)June 29, 2009
GRAFENWOEHR, Germany - Three hundred and sixty feet hit the ground running June 27 at the U.S. Forces Europe Army 10-Miler Qualification race hosted by U.S. Army Garrison Grafenwoehr.
Of the 180 competitors, the top six male and six female Soldiers earned spots on the team that will travel to the national competition held in Washington, D.C., Oct. 4.
Staff Sgt. Kirk Madgic, 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, will lead the 12-Soldier team. Madgic, who traveled from Vicenza, Italy, to compete in the race, was the first Soldier to cross the finish line with a time of 58 minutes, 46.81 seconds.
The other qualifiers for the men's team were: Capt. Kyle Greenberg, Grafenwoehr (60:20.78); 2nd Lt. Bradley Glosser, Ansbach (61:7.42); Maj. William Rediske, Kaiserslautern (61:16.44); Sgt. 1st Class Walter Johnston, Heidelberg (62:18.98); and Capt. Colby Broadwater, Stuttgart (63:36.73).
With a time of 65 minutes, 21.17 seconds, Capt. Stephanie Feagin, U.S. Army Health Clinic Livorno, was the first female Solider to cross the finish line.
Capt. Myra Markey, Ansbach (67:43.98); Capt. Rhonda Winsky, Kaiserslautern (75:11.00); 1st Lt. Lisa Becker, Ansbach (76:53.09); Lt. Col. Laura Landes, Stuttgart (77:3.39); and 2nd Lt. Kimberly Defiori, Grafenwoehr (78:3.89) also qualified for the women's team.
For Feagin, who ran the course almost 10 minutes faster than the first female qualifier last year, the win was bittersweet.
"I love to run. I'm one of those psychos that just love it," she said. "I'm leaving the Army soon so I won't be able to go to D.C., but it just felt good today."
Eight alternates were also selected based on their times in Grafenwoehr, in the event a runner, like Feagin, is unable to attend the national race.
The Soldier-teammates will have more than three months to prepare for the national race, where an expected 30,000 runners will navigate a route that begins and ends at the Pentagon and passes national monuments such as the Smithsonian and the United States Capital building.
The Grafenwoehr course, according to Tony Lee, USAG Grafenwoehr Morale, Welfare and Recreation chief of recreation programming, was planned to prime the runner for the Washington, D.C. race.
"I've personally seen (the course) in D.C., and I think our course is tougher," he said. "The location is unique. It is no further than D.C., but there are a lot of crooks and turns... a lot more turns than normal. We try to mentally prepare (the runners) for the D.C. race."
Lee added that the Grafenwoehr staff is already looking into the route for next year.
"The plan is to relook at the course and try to find another one, one that is more conducive in terms of what we need for support," Lee said.
He added that any changes will not affect the level of challenge the route brings to the runner. "We have had a lot of good comments on the course, as far as the ups (inclines) and downs (declines) and how we finished the last mile (loop)."
The final mile of the course led runners on a loop around the Grafenwoehr Physical Fitness Center.
While, as a civilian, he did not qualify for the national 10-Miler in October, the first individual to finish the loop and pass in front of the crowd that gathered at the finish line was Kelis Secrest, Kaiserslautern, with a time of 57 minutes, 6.45 seconds.
More photos of the June 27 race can be found at the USAG Grafenwoehr flickr site, http://www.flickr.com/photos/usaggrafenwoehr/sets.
Bavarian News reporter Joy Awe contributed to this article.