GRAFENWOEHR, Germany - More than 100 runners from garrisons across Europe braved the Bavarian summer for this year's U.S. Forces Europe Army 10-Miler Qualifier Race, July 10. While most came to test themselves, some ran for other reasons.

"I hate running unless I'm being chased," said Capt. Gary Broocks, assistant brigade engineer for Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 172nd Infantry Brigade, as he finalized his paperwork minutes before the safety briefing. "But all of my friends are doing it."

After the safety briefing, runners took their positions at the starting line; many made predictions as they stretched.

"The plan is to qualify," said 1st Lt. Marshall Kulp, who is part of support operations staff at the 18th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion.

A majority of runners like Kulp were vying for one of the coveted 12 spots (comprised of six active duty Army male and female runners) on the U.S. Army Europe 10-Miler team. Team members will be sent on temporary duty to Washington, D.C. to compete in the Army 10-Miler, Oct. 24, which is billed as the largest 10-mile road race in the world. Last year's race drew more than 30,000 runners.

In addition to individuals, teams from several garrisons used the race to fine-tune their training regimens, which in some cases began four months ago.

"I think we're going to do well," said a brightly clad, confident Capt. Adolph DuBose from U.S. Army Africa Command at U.S. Army Garrison Vicenza. "In fact, I'd like to make this statement: This fall, U.S. Army Africa will take on U.S. Army Europe in D.C."

Others, like a soft-spoken Maj. Dan Welsh, information officer with 172nd Inf. Bde., seemed quietly optimistic. Welsh, who was running with his wife Lisa, said he hadn't really trained for the race in the past three years because of injuries, deployments and time spent raising his children.

"Life caught up with me," he said.

No one, however, caught up with the overall winner, Maj. Keith Matiskella, chief of the Combined Arms Training Center, in Vilseck, Germany. Matiskella punished the course with a time of 53 minutes, 9.55 seconds, beating the next closest competitor by more than four minutes.

In addition, he broke the all-time record for the 10-Miler in Europe by a mere 3 seconds. (The previous record was set by Baumholder's Sgt. Edmond Chapa in 2006.) The first female runner, Capt. Myra Galusha from USAG Ansbach, crossed the line at 69 minutes, 9 seconds.

"I was hoping to get out there and run hard," said Matiskella, who admitted he may have started out a little too fast. "I'm very happy with that time."

Many runners mentioned hitting "the wall" at the eight-mile mark as temperatures began to rise, baking the blacktop. Two runners were treated for severe dehydration after they crossed the finish line.

"The heat makes a difference," said 1st Sgt. Fidelis Etim from USAG Vicenza. Etim said he was happy with his time, just over 70 minutes, which was about five minutes slower than he anticipated. "Being 46 years old, I give myself some slack."

In addition to the heat factor, Welsh, who finished third overall, called the hill at the two-mile mark "quite daunting" because runners reached the hill just as they were settling into their race pace. "The next eight miles are just a matter of mental resiliency," he said.

Welsh's previous comment about not having really trained in the last three years was a relative term; in 2006 he was a member of the All-Army Marathon and 10-Miler teams. Welsh joins the 2010 U.S. Army Europe 10-Miler team with Matiskella, who will be competing in his 11th Army 10-Miler this fall.

When preparing for the race, Matiskella said he usually runs about 10 miles every day. However, this year he added another element to his training regimen Aca,!aEURc stroller miles Aca,!aEURc when his wife, Maj. Paty Matiskella, deployed with 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment.

And when he crossed the finish line, the race wasn't over. He immediately sprinted to Vilseck (in his car) to pick up his 3-year-old son, Finn, from daycare.

"The hardest thing (about the race) was getting someone to watch my son this early in the morning," said Matiskella.

2010 U.S. Army Europe 10-Miler Team*
Men's Team
Maj. Keith Matiskella (Grafenwoehr)
Capt. Kyle Greenberg (Garmisch)
Maj. Daniel Welsh (Grafenwoehr)
Sgt. 1st Class Walter Johnston (Heidelberg)
Capt. Adolph DuBose (Vicenza)
Spc. John Baeza (Grafenwoehr)

Women's Team
Capt. Myra Galusha (Ansbach)
Staff Sgt. Alicia Anderson (Grafenwoehr)
Spc. Ekaterina Volsky (Heidelberg)
Capt. Leah Mock (Stuttgart)
Sgt. Katherine O'dell (Heidelberg)
Staff Sgt. Rosemary Hernandez (Vicenza)

Alternates: CWO5 Edgardo Academia (Manheim), Sgt. 1st Class Ryan Staggs (Heidelberg); Spc. Kattie Lucido (Heidelberg) and Capt. Kimberly Ordonez (Grafenwoehr). (*Team members listed in order they finished.)