ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. – The 39th Annual Army 10-Miler, held October 8, 2023 in Washington D.C., annually attracts more than 35 thousand runners and 900 teams from around the world.
U.S. Army Reserve Master Sgt. Laroy Warren, G-1 Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge, IPPS-A Liaison, 85th U.S. Army Reserve Support Command, was in the pack competing in his first Army 10-Miler.
“At the starting line, they had runners broken down into waves. It was a lot of people. The atmosphere was inspiring. There were all levels of fitness, whether it was walk run or run,” Warren said. “Each wave may have had five thousand runners.”
Each wave was released roughly eight minutes apart, followed by another wave. During the race, Warren maintained a nine minute per mile pace and finished in one hour and 35 minutes while encountering trouble at mile four.
“I sprained my ankle near the water stop. I stepped into a pothole. For six miles I was in pain, but I knew if I stopped, the swelling would have intensified,” said Warren. “I stopped thinking about the pain and continued the same pace. I wasn’t looking for an excuse to stop. I just kept pushing through.”
Despite the pain, the veteran Soldier, with 24 years of Army Reserve service, said he found plenty of enjoyable moments along the route.
“My favorite parts of the course were running past the Washington Monument, running through a viaduct where the light changed from sunny to dark, and during the turnaround where you get to interact with other runners by giving each other a high five or yelling words of encouragement,” said Warren.
Leading up to the Army 10-Miler, Warren ran numerous 5 Kilometer (3.1 mile) races for months.
“I was training to run 5Ks in 2022. I ran a total of 30 5K and 10K (6.2 mile) races from March to November. In 2023, I decided to step it up and run 10K races. I have run 35 races so far this year. I run every weekend. When the Army 10-Miler came around, I decided to get involved and go for it. I’m currently looking to participate in a half marathon,” said Warren.
However, it is an ironic situation for a Soldier who pursued running because he does not like to do it.
“The reason I run is because I don’t like running. If I make it fun, I kind of enjoy it,” said Warren. “The way you get better at something is you pick something you do not like to do and work on it and get better at it.”
He referenced a quote, from boxer Mike Tyson, that he keeps on his phone.
“Discipline is doing what you hate to do but, nonetheless, doing it like you like it,” said Warren.
Fitness and sports have always been a passion of Warren’s since he was a child.
“I played little league baseball. I swam in high school and played a lot of basketball. I’ve been an athlete all my life. I think I found my passion to be fitness,” said Warren. “If you love doing something, whether you get paid or not, I consider that a passion.”
He also conducts a free early morning fitness session for Soldiers and Army Civilians working to improve their fitness.
“I’ve been doing my morning fitness group for five years,” said Warren. “There are other Soldiers that need help with fitness, and it also helps me out. Just like I’m pushing them, sometimes they push me.”
Warren stated that he has advice for those thinking about running the Army 10-Miler in future years.
“Start training now. It depends on your goals. Get some miles under your feet. Start running some 5K races. That makes it fun. Keep doing them and do some running on your own. Increase the mileage and you will be ready for 10 miles in no time.”