Fort McCoy’s Army Ten-Miler team represented Fort McCoy during the opening ceremony of the Sparta Quest Winter Fest in late January.On Jan. 29, members of the team, along with Command Sgt. Maj. Paul Mantha, carried the ceremonial torch for the event for 2 miles from the Sparta Chamber of Commerce building through downtown Sparta to Memorial Park where a group of city residents awaited.A Ten-Miler team member then passed the torch off to Sparta Mayor Kristen Gust who proceeded to light the bonfire to commence the weekend-long event.Sparta Quest Winter Fest events also included a moonlight snowshoe trek at Whitetail Ridge Ski Area at Fort McCoy, said Scott Abell with the Fort McCoy Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation. Participants enjoyed a beautiful full moon on their journey through the snowshoeing trails in Pine View Recreation Area.Events for the fest on Jan. 30 and 31 included fat-tire bike races, a snow sculpting competition, kickball tournament, archery shoot, and a variety of other outdoor activities. Hundreds of people attended the activities in Sparta and at Whitetail Ridge.Tony Steinhoff, coach and member of the Fort McCoy Army Ten-Miler team, was a part of the activities with fellow team members Maj. Michael Carkhuff, 3rd Battalion, 340th Brigade Engineer Battalion; Master Sgt. Donna Vance, Fort McCoy Noncommissioned Officer Academy (NCOA); 1st Sgt. Theresa Ertl, 847th Human Resources Company; and Staff Sgt. Victor Mendoza, Fort McCoy NCOA. First Sgt. Juana Sauceda of the Fort McCoy NCOA also supported the team’s involvement.“There was a live Facebook feed when we started our run at the Sparta chamber and then again when we arrived at the fest grounds,” Steinhoff said. “Temps were in the 20s, and because we did not have an escort we ran on the sidewalks down Water Street and Montgomery Street which were not ideal for running as not all sidewalks were clear of snow and ice. The sidewalks are very uneven in most places; however, to mitigate that risk, we ran in a line and between a 9- to 10-minute mile pace."“It was an honor to be asked to participate in the event and have the opportunity to support the local community and represent Fort McCoy,” Steinhoff said. “After the race there we people who provided the team with hot chocolate and roasted nuts. The team really enjoyed getting together during the offseason to participate and looks forward to supporting other activities like this as much as possible.”The team involvement is also part of Fort McCoy’s ongoing effort to volunteer and provide support to local communities that regularly support the post. The Fort McCoy Public Affairs Office also helped coordinate support for the event.Fort McCoy’s motto is to be the “Total Force Training Center.”Located in the heart of the upper Midwest, Fort McCoy is the only U.S. Army installation in Wisconsin.The installation has provided support and facilities for the field and classroom training of more than 100,000 military personnel from all services nearly every year since 1984.Learn more about Fort McCoy online at, on Facebook by searching “ftmccoy,” and on Twitter by searching “usagmccoy.” Also try downloading the Digital Garrison app to your smartphone and set "Fort McCoy" or another installation as your preferred base.