By CHRIS RASMUSSEN, Fort Jackson LeaderOctober 21, 2010
FORT JACKSON, S.C. -- The couple who play together, stay together. At least that's the theory two married Soldiers will test as they run this year's Army Ten-Miler together.
First Lt. Mike Reed, commander of the 120th Adjutant General Battalion (Reception) Fitness Training Company, and his wife, 2nd Lt. Judy Reed, who is attending the Adjutant General Basic Officer Leadership Course at the Soldier Support Institute, are among 23 runners from Fort Jackson who will compete Sunday in the Army Ten-Miler in Washington, D.C.
Despite their full work loads, the Reeds make time to run together.
"We both have crazy schedules," Judy Reed said. "Mike is taking command of the FTC and I just (relocated) to Fort Jackson. We run together whenever we can fit it in. But it makes our time together even more important."
The couple, who married April 17, 2008, met while attending college at Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C.
"It was love at first sight. Wasn't it'" Mike Reed joked.
"Of course it was, Honey," Judy Reed replied as they jogged together.
The Reeds were recently reunited after a four-month separation while Mike Reed attended Ranger School at Fort Benning, Ga. The couple had been apart for about a year.
"It was tough," said Judy Reed, who will be assigned to the 4th Battalion, 10th Infantry Regiment once she finishes BOLC. "You don't have e-mail or cell phones in Ranger School, just handwritten letters. We are going to enjoy both being assigned at Fort Jackson."
Judy Reed began running in high school and ran for Georgia State University before transferring to Appalachian State University.
Although the couple will travel to Washington together for the Army Ten-Miler, they will compete on different Fort Jackson teams. There are four teams from the installation running in this year's race. Teams are chosen based on members' running times.
"We are on different teams because Judy is faster than me," Mike Reed said. "Plus, since I just came back from Ranger School, my body is more broken down than it normally is."
Mike Reed, who participated in the race last year, said he is excited to return to the competition.
"The run was a lot of fun. You get to see all of the other units and meet people with similar interests," he said.
Judy Reed, who last year just watched the race, helped push her husband.
"It is an amazing experience when you see the mass of people coming down the course," she said. "But the biggest thing that touched us both was seeing the wounded Soldiers compete."
Shortly before the race, the couple visited a friend, a wounded warrior, who just returned home.
"Around Mile Nine it gets tough. But then I thought about my friend and got a lot of inspiration to continue," Mike Reed said. "It was an honor and privilege to be able to run."
The 26th annual Army Ten-Miler, which begins and ends at the Pentagon, is one of the largest 10-mile road races in the world. The course passes such historic D.C. landmarks as the Lincoln Memorial, U.S. Capitol and Washington Monument. More than 675 teams are registered to race, with the majority being military teams competing for the Commander's Cup and other military honors. Proceeds from the race benefit Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation programs.
Last year, the Hawaii Active Duty Men won the men's Commander's Cup with the Fort Bragg Women taking the women's Commander Cup. The inaugural Army Ten-Miler was in 1985.
The Fort Jackson active duty men's team placed 19th out of 38 teams last year with a time of 4:24:12. The women's active duty squad finished in last place out of 18 teams with a time of 6:33:50. The Fort Jackson active duty master's men placed seventh out of 40 teams with a time of 5:11:14.
This year Fort Jackson will send one active duty men's team and three active duty mixed teams.
Sgt. 1st Class Edwin Hernandez, who is Fort Jackson's Drill Sergeant of the Year, is on one of this year's teams and plans to go all out.
"Ten miles are not easy to run, but you can always train and achieve your goals," he said. "You have to train up. You can start out running a couple of miles and then build it up to 10 miles."