Ten-Miler … or bust: Hawaii runners compete for place in national race

| July 21, 2017 | 0 Comments

Members of the three U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii teams that will be heading to Washington D.C. for the Army Ten-Miler pose for a photo at Schofield Barracks after the ninth Annual Army Ten-Miler Hawaii Qualifier. Top active-duty scorers qualified to run the Army Ten-Miler, Oct. 8 in Washington D.C. The Commander’s Cup Active Duty Men team and Commander’s Cup Active Duty Women team each had six Soldiers and two alternates. The Active Duty Masters Mixed team included six Soldiers and two alternates ages 40 and over. (U.S. Army photo by Kristen Wong, Oahu Publications)

Story and photos by
Kristen Wong
Contributing Writer

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — Active duty Soldiers competed Saturday here in an effort to become a member of three teams representing U.S. Army Hawaii at the prestigious Army Ten-Miler (ATM) in Washington, D.C., in October.

Family, friends and members of the Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Directorate cheered on racers during the 9th Annual Army Ten-Miler Hawaii Qualifier.

Spc. Luis Morales, of 18th Medical Command, runs in the ninth annual Army Ten-Miler Hawaii Qualifier, July 15, 2017. Top active-duty scorers qualified to run the Army Ten-Miler, Oct. 8 in Washington D.C. (U.S. Army photo by Kristen Wong, Oahu Publications)

At Richardson Pool before the sun came up, runners warmed up and stretched before the big run.

After a cannon-fire start, racers ran the course down Lyman and Trimble roads twice, ending at Weyand Field. The majority of the sweat-laden racers crossed the finish line within two hours. They rested with granola bars, yogurt, mandarin oranges and sports drinks. Awards were given to the first, second and third place overall winners as well as in each age category. The qualifiers additionally received an ATM plaque.

The three Hawaii teams chosen for the ATM were the Commander’s Cup Active Duty Female, Commander’s Cup Active Duty Male and Active Duty Masters Mixed teams. The female team was made up of six female Soldiers and two alternates. The male team was made up of six male Soldiers and two alternates. The Active Duty Masters Mixed team was made up of six Soldiers, male and female, ages 40 and over, including Col. Stephen E. Dawson, commander, USAG-HI.

Taking home gold
The first place overall female winner and a qualifier for this year’s ATM was 1st Lt. Michelle Font, the executive officer for 57th Military Police Company, 728th MP Battalion, 8th MP Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command. This was her third qualifier and the third time she qualified, having run the ATM once for Korea and once for Hawaii.

“I really appreciate the weather cooperating,” she said. “Last year was blazing hot.”

With encouragement from friends who were also registering, Font said she first tried the qualifier while stationed in Korea.

To prepare for this year’s qualifier, Font trained in CrossFit. She also trained with U.S. Army Special Operations Recruiting Hawaii for two months, which she found really helpful. She said she was happy with her time this year.

“This is a new (personal record),” she said “(My qualifier time was) definitely faster than when I ran D.C. last year.”

From left to right: Capt. John DiGiovanni, Sgt. Guadalupe Torres, 1st. Lt. Cortland Henderson, 1st Lt. Colton Barber and Capt. James Hodges compete in the ninth Annual Army Ten-Miler Hawaii Qualifier at Schofield Barracks, July 15, 2017. Top active-duty scorers qualified to run the Army Ten-Miler, Oct. 8 in Washington D.C. (U.S. Army photo by Kristen Wong, Oahu Publications)

One of the six male qualifiers was Capt. James “Jimmy” Hodges, brigade assistant S-3, Current Operations, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, who competed in the qualifier for the first time this year. Though he said he has always been a runner, he wasn’t able to participate before because he was either deployed or training. Hodges trained for 12 weeks, running and strength training.

“It was a good course,” he said. “It was extremely fast at the beginning … it’s a very challenging course since it’s essentially half uphill, half downhill and then it finishes uphill, so, it’s more challenging than your average qualifier course.”

Hodges said he was excited to represent 25th Infantry Division, his brigade and battalion, in Washington, D.C.

Qualifying for the ATM for the second year in a row was 1st Lt. Tiffany Tang, a Soldier with 19th MP Bn. Criminal Investigation Detachment, 6th MP Group. Tang said she has been training since last year, repeatedly running the qualifier course. Her efforts paid off as she shaved off two minutes off last year’s time.

While participating in the ATM in D.C., she said she was not used to the cold weather, having grown up here in Hawaii. What’s more, the runners went in waves, which meant some stood in the cold for at least an hour before starting.

“I’ll be more prepared this time around,” she said. “I’ll bring a trash bag to the start line just to stay warm.”

1st Lt. Ryan Kastner crosses the finish line at the ninth annual Army Ten-Miler Hawaii Qualifier, at Schofield Barracks, July 15, 2017. Top active-duty scorers qualified to run the Army Ten-Miler, Oct. 8 in Washington D.C. (U.S. Army photo by Kristen Wong, Oahu Publications)

“Fierce competition”
This year’s Army Ten-Miler qualifier brought fierce competition,” said Kristy Osborn, the Sports Specialist & Fitness coordinator at the Schofield Health and Fitness Center. “Although non-active-duty Army runners were allowed to participate in this year’s qualifier, 12 of the top 13 finishers were in fact active duty Army, and 11 of those soldiers became Hawaii Team qualifying members.”

Osborn said the 150 runners registered this year were far more than previous years. She added that the MWR team wishes the Hawaii Army competitors good luck in D.C. She said the organization is grateful to the participants for their support and praised their enthusiasm for fitness.

RESULTS
Men’s Open
1ST LT. COLTON BARBER, HH Bn., 25th ID, 1:01:27.5
1ST LT. ADAM IRONS, 2nd Sqdn., 14th Cav., 1:01:58.0
CAPT. JAMES HODGES, 2IBCT, 25th ID 1:02:18.7
SGT. GUADALUPE TORRES, 25th CTC, 524th CSSB, 25th Sust. Bde., 1:02:34.6
1ST LT. CORTLAND HENDERSON, 130th Eng. Bde., 1:02:54.7
CAPT. BRYAN LAGASSE, A Co., 1st Bn., 27th Inf., 2nd IBCT, 25th ID, 1:04:34.8

Alternates:
CAPT. JONAS BYLER, C Co., TAMC, 1:04:44.6
SPC. JOSHUA CHAPMAN, 57th MP Co., 728th MP Bn., 1:06:06.5

Women’s Open
1ST LT. MICHELLE FONT, 57th MP Co., 728th MP Bn., 1:06:47.8
1ST LT. RACHEL KING, 65th BEB, 1:09:31.2
2ND LT. DANIELLE JOHNSTON, 8th TSC, 1:11:06.5
CAPT. MAIA PARIS, D Co., 3-25 Avn. Regt., 1:13:25.
1ST LT. KIRA HEARTWICK, A Co., TAMC, 1:14:36.2
1ST LT. TIFFANY TANG, 19th MP Bn., CID, 6th MP Group 1:15:38.7

Alternates:
1ST LT. ALEXANDRIA MCCAMPBELL, TAMC, 1:15:46.0
CAPT. FELICIA HEISLER, DISA PAC, 1:16:45.8

Mixed Masters (40 and over)
CAPT. JOHN DIGIOVANNI, 3rd Battalion, 25th Avn. Regt., HHC, 25th CAB, 1:00:59.1
COMMAND SGT. MAJ. JARED IRELAND, 2nd Bn., 11th Field Artillery Regt., 25th ID, 1:07:04.5
COMMAND SGT. MAJ. THOMAS MARNOCH, 325 BSB, 3IBCT, 1:07:32.0
COL. DEYDRE TEYHEN, USAHC-SB, 1:16:27.2
STAFF SGT. CHRISTOPHER BOYER, C Co., 225 BSB, 1:17:41.2
LT. COL. RACHEL WIENKE, 18th MEDCOM (DS), 1:20:39.8

Alternates:
COL. STEPHEN DAWSON, USAG-HI, 1:20:51.8
CWO4 MAURICE CONNER, 25th Sust. Bde., 1:22:17.9

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