By Skip Vaughn, USAG RedstoneNovember 5, 2010
WASHINGTON-- Redstone Arsenal's chances of repeating this year as a double winner in the Army Ten-Miler didn't look promising.
The first hurdle was the departure of David Riddle, the team's best runner in the past three championship years. Riddle and his wife moved to Cincinnati, Ohio.
The next hurdle was the loss of several runners because of personal or work reasons.
Finally, there were three runners who competed despite illness or injury.
After all those hurdles, Team Redstone finished the 26th annual Army Ten-Miler on Oct. 24 just as it did last year's race.
Their runners went on stage to accept the first-place trophies in two divisions: government agency and all-comers.
"I knew we had a chance to make history at our initial practices with the talent we picked up this year, even though we lost our fastest runner (Riddle)," coach Harry Hobbs said. "But we knew our overall talent was better than previous years."
The team's goal was to successfully defend its titles in both divisions, according to Hobbs.
"We knew we were a marked team because of last year," he said. "We wanted to prove we weren't a fluke."
They accomplished their mission.
Redstone One won the government agency division for the fourth year in a row. Thirty-four teams competed in that division.
Redstone Two won the all-comers division for the second year in a row, out of 47 teams.
The Redstone One runners included Brad Schroeder (55 minutes, 31 seconds), Tim Vinson (58:23), Erik DeBolt (59:09), Morris Bodrick (1:01:01) and coach Harry Hobbs (1:24).
The Redstone Two runners included Brian Hackenberg (59:02), Juantonio Rivera (59:18), Brett Wilks (1:04:47), Randy McFarland (1:04:59), Joseph Robenson (1:10:08), Rick Cooper (1:38:49) and assistant coach Skip Vaughn (1:55:01).
From among 652 teams total in all divisions, Redstone One was 14th overall and Redstone Two was 30th.
Vinson ran despite flu-like symptoms and improved on his previous personal best 58:48 from the Mooresville Ten-Miler held in March.
"Everybody on both teams lived up to their potential," Vinson said. "Everybody ran up to their potential."
Bodrick ran with a strained lower back. Rivera had a strained left hamstring. Said Hobbs, "So when all three of these runners decided to run through their pain, it just motivated the team to push to victory."
The team was led across the finish line by Schroeder, this year's captain, who took over the helm as fastest runner after Riddle's departure.
"The team was given a challenge and they performed very well this year," Schroeder said. "Everything turned out extremely well - the food, the warmup, the support. Everything panned out for its best benefit.
"Every teammate showed up and ran their best. We had four PRs (personal records) which is extremely successful. It shows every teammate was dedicated to this race and to work hard. I just don't think it could've turned out any better. Everybody performed to their best today."
Hobbs expressed his appreciation to Family and Morale Welfare and Recreation, the Garrison, the Aviation and Missile Command, and the Redstone-Huntsville Chapter of the Association of the U.S. Army. Their support included stocking a "Hoo-ah" tent, sponsoring the running uniforms and "providing the motivation," he said. "All we had to do was show up and run."
And this year's run produced a rare achievement in the 26-year history of the October race near the Pentagon.
"The team has won six championships in four years - unprecedented," Hobbs said. "We made history again - times two."