By Sgt Jessica Kuhn, XVIII CorpsOctober 10, 2011
WASHINGTON, Oct. 10, 2011 -- As the runners approached the starting line, perspiration formed on their brows.
After months of training, the runners from the 'Home of the Airborne' were ready to step off proving the legends about Fort Bragg true.
All three teams from Fort Bragg took 1st place in the men's, women's and men's master team active duty divisions at this year's Army Ten-Miler in Washington D.C. Oct. 9.
Fort Bragg's teams were initially identified based on their performance during the Fort Bragg Army Ten-Miler, said Capt. Joseph Woodley, the men's team captain. Since then, the Soldiers have been training 5 to 6 days per week as well as competing in several preparatory races.
"We've trained since June for this race," Woodley said. "We have been very lucky to have Lora Lewis, who is a certified running trainer, help get us to run how we needed to run. She came up with a program for each of the men's team runners that pushed their strengths and improved their weaknesses."
Woodley and the other Fort Bragg runners competed against more than 30,000 people and 701 teams in the 27th annual 10 mile race. The race is one of the largest 10 mile races in the world.
The women's team continued their winning tradition by capturing the Commander's Cup -- the victory trophy -- for the fourth consecutive year.
Fort Bragg's strong fleet-footed tradition was one of the reasons 2nd Lt. Katie Durham, joined the team.
"I ran the Army Ten-Miler last year [for another post]," said Durham, an intelligence officer with 4th Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division. "As soon as I found out that I was moving to Fort Bragg, I knew I wanted to make the team. I'm a runner and what better place to be a runner in the Army than Fort Bragg?"
In addition, the Fort Bragg's men's team won first place for the first time ever in the race's history.
"It feels great [winning the Army Ten-Miler]," said Spc. David McCarthy, a public affairs specialist with 82nd Sustainment Brigade. "There isn't anything better than setting a goal and then accomplishing it."
Moreover, the men's master team comprised of five men older than 40 took home the first place trophy.
"This race really proves that Fort Bragg is the center of the [military] universe," said Chief Warrant Officer 5 Jonathan Yerby, a member of the men's master team. "It is great to come here and represent Fort Bragg and its Soldiers, and there isn't any better way to represent than by winning."
Runners from all over the world ran in this annual tradition which started at the Pentagon and went throughout the nation's capital.
Even though Fort Bragg's teams were victorious, winning wasn't the most important part of the Army Ten-Miler, Durham believed.
"It's a great way to improve morale and physical fitness," she said.
Following the race, the three teams were presented their trophies at an award ceremony in the Pentagon's parking lot. The men and women's teams were also recognized at the opening ceremonies of the annual Association of the United States Army Meeting and Exposition by the Army Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond T. Odierno and the Sgt. Maj. of the Army Raymond F. Chandler III Oct. 10.
"To me," Durham said, "the Army Ten-Miler is about setting hard but attainable goals and going out there and achieving them. It is about completing your mission as a runner and as a Soldier."