Eighth Army participates in the 2016 Army Ten-Miler in Washington D.C.
WASHINGTON D.C. — Soldiers from Eighth Army represented in the 2016 Army Ten-Miler race that was held in Washington D.C, Oct 9. The team was comprised of service members from different installations across South Korea. Eighth Army’s team participated in the active duty mixed category which consisted of five males and three females; they finished in sixth place out of a total of 42 participating teams.
“Running the Army Ten-Miler felt good,” said team captain Cpt. Robert Anderson, Headquarters Support Company Commander, 719th Military Intelligence Brigade, Camp Humphreys. “Endurance and stamina was great, but my pace could have been faster.”
Adding to the long course, competitors confronted natural obstacles like heavy rain and strong winds, as Hurricane Matthew struck the East Coast of the U.S. that week.
“The 25-mile-per-hour winds were coming straight at our faces,” said Anderson. “It was tough but I say it was a memorable moment during the race.”
During the first week of June, Soldiers were chosen for Eight Army’s Ten-Miler team by competing in the Shadow Ten- Miler competition held at Camp Humphreys. Over 200 Soldiers from South Korea volunteered to try out for the team. The top Soldiers were selected for the Eighth Army team and proceeded to go through rigorous preparations for the Ten- Miler race in D.C.
“I started from five miles after the Shadow Ten-Miler qualification and built up a mile every Saturday for three months,” said 1st Lt. Elizabeth O’Donnell, Charlie Company, 2nd Combat Aviation Brigade, Camp Humphreys. “During the week I ran with my company, rode on bikes, swam and occasionally lifted weights at the gym.”
Even though it was difficult for the Eighth Army participants to prepare for the race as a cohesive team, due to their various locations on the Korean Peninsula, they still formed a strong bond.
“Team members were from Yongsan, Humphreys and Case,” said Anderson. “We couldn’t see each other as often as we wanted to.” “You have to have contact with your team, so we utilized email, phone and even set up a Facebook page named ‘2016 8A 10-mile team’.”
However, after the Shadow Ten- Miler, team members had a chance to spend some time together when they starred in Eighth Army’s video, ‘CG’s priority with 10-miler team’.
“We had an opportunity to make a commercial with our Commanding General (Lt. Gen. Thomas S. Vandal) in Seoul,” said O’Donnell. “It was the one moment we had together before the Army Ten-Miler race, and we enjoyed working as a team.” Unfortunately, two of the members couldn’t make it to the final race; 1st Lt. Brian Morenus, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Combat Aviation Brigade, Camp Humphreys and Spc. Nicholas Kiproto, HHC, 1st Cavalry Division, Camp Casey. Regardless of the circumstances, the team put in maximum effort.
“We had major hiccups after two of the male runners had to drop out,” said Anderson “Three males that stayed in the race had to deal with the pressure to draw their best results, and they performed great.”
Despite the outcome and hardships along the way, the team expressed their enjoyment in being a part of the Ten-Miler team, and they were honored to represent Eighth Army and its Soldiers this year.
“Our team felt honored to represent Eighth Army in DC,” said Anderson. “We were continually training to ‘Fight Tonight’ while at the same time meeting all Army standards and putting in that extra PT to strengthen our running talent. We all understood that this was an opportunity to be grateful for.”
The 2016 Army Ten-Miler race had 35,000 participants from active duty to retirees to family members from all 50 U.S. States as well as 54 countries. The Ten- Miler race raised $6 million which will go toward funding Soldier and family programs. Final results of the race are posted at ‘http://www. armytenmiler.com/my-results. cfm?RL=1’.
Team members are as follows:
Men: Spc. Nicholas Kiproto, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Cavalry Division, Camp Casey. – Flight Canceled
1st Lt. Brian Morenus, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Combat Aviations Brigade, Camp Humphreys. – Illness
1st Lt. Kenneth Fischer, Headquarters Support Company, 501st Military Intelligence Brigade, Camp Humphreys. – 57:52
Cpt. Robert Anderson, Headquarters Support Company Commander, 501st Military Intelligence Brigade, Camp Humphreys. – 58:51
Cpt. Peter Ellis, Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 210 Field Artillery Brigade, Camp Casey. – 1:01:54
Women: Spc. Emily Sugimoto, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 501st Military Intelligence Brigade, USAG-Yongsan. – 1:06:11
1st Lt. Elizabeth O’Donnell, Charlie Company, 2nd Combat Aviation Brigade, Camp Humphreys. – 1:14:00
2nd Lt. Savannah Barreca, Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 210 Field Artillery Brigade, Camp Casey. – 1:16:52