Led by U.S. Army Major Hector Rueda and Capt. Derrick Barcliff Jr., Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation members come together and organize a seven-man team for the 37th annual Army Ten Miler Race.
FORT BENNING, GA – In the wee hours of the morning of October 11, seven representatives of WHINSEC took to the street to culminate months of training for the internationally famous Army Ten Miler (ATM).
This year due to COVID, the Army decided to conduct this year’s Army Ten-Miler (ATM) race in a virtual setting. The decision to hold a virtual race provides the safeguards needed to eliminate the risk to participants given the nature of a competitive road race. The 37th Annual Army Ten-Miler – Virtual Edition will now take place from Sunday, October 10 to Monday, November 29, 2021. Teams and individuals are to register and submit their times through the www.armytenmiler.com webpage.
Team members were MAJ Brett Carter, MAJ Hector Rueda, CPT Derrick Barcliff Jr., CPT Dulce Fuentes, MAJ Juan Bustamante, CPT Nubia Sanchez, and SGM Evangivaldo Ferreira Silva.
“Our first try out was back in June and we have continued to train together since then. We went from about 12-15 interested personnel to the before-mentioned that made the final cut,” said Rueda. “Mrs. Lori Smith from Fort Benning MWR was key helping us to get FBMWR to sponsor (pay for our registration and entry fees) a WHINSEC Team, which in a way, is also representing Ft. Benning.”
Rueda added, “The original intent was to run the race in person at D.C. and use it as a way to promote fitness, expose those who haven’t had the opportunity to experience the event, especially PNI/IMS, and tour D.C. for at least a day. Although MWR paid for the entry fee, the remainder of the cost was going to be out of pocket with a few mitigations in place to reduce the overall cost.”
The route for the run began at Smith Fitness Center running track; onto Dixie road, southwest, towards the Lawson Army Airfield. Turned right on Jecelin road, around Lawson Army Airfield up to Dixie road – near the Eddie Bridge Access Control Point. Once there, turn around, back around the airfield; and finished the run near the Freedom Hall Building on Bradshaw road off Jecelin road.
“It was a great route. We started the run at 7 a.m. and it was very comfortable weather, especially for the weather we get here at Fort Benning,” said Evangivaldo Ferreira Silva, Brazilian Army Partner Nation Instructor. “The route had some good hills, which I personally enjoy, and some good flat areas around the airfield,” he added.
WHINSEC family members and WHINSEC’s cycling group were on hand supporting and encouraging the runners.
“During the race, we had great support from WHINSEC (COL Villanueva, CSMs Lopez/Luna/Perez, MAJ(R) Kelly). We also had members from WHINSEC’s School of Leadership and Tactics (SFC Amurrio, SFC Escalante, SFC Avalos, MAJ Forero, SSG Zapata, MSG Cuellar) and probably a few others that I can’t remember right now,” said Rueda.
He added, “In all honestly, they made a huge difference in our performance because there were either cheering us up at multiple points throughout the route or riding along side with water, music, etc. to keep us motivated. If they had not being there, I think it is safe to assume our times would be a slower.”
Key on the successful execution of this mission was the behind-the-scenes-work of the Headquarters and Headquarters Company commander, CPT Derrick Barcliff.
“It was amazing to have a diverse team from different sections across the institute dedicated to train for several months to accomplish a common goal. Teamwork and dedication coupled with the outstanding support from other members of WHINSEC and family enabled us to run faster, it truly made the difference,” commented Barcliff.
Times for the runners was as follows: Ferreira Silva – 64:47; Rueda – 65:14; Carter – 67:32; Barcliff – 69:12; Bustamante – 76;54; Sanchez – 79:25; Fuentes – 86:58. Fuentes was coming off and injury, most probably will redo.
Official results of the ATM will post in December, after the closing of the virtual race window on November 29.