Despite high temperatures and stifling humidity, nearly 30 Fort Belvoir Soldiers and civilians pushed their endurance to the limit, June 27 to earn slots on the teams that will represent the installation at the 2019 Army Ten- Miler, Oct. 13 in Washington, D.C.
The 2019 qualifier run began at 5:30 a.m. at Mile Marker “0” at the south end of the George Washington Estate parking lot at Mount Vernon.
The Army Ten-Miler is an annual event sponsored by the U.S. Army Joint Force Headquarters, Military District of Washington - National Capital Region. Celebrating its 35th installment this year, the ATM promotes the Army, builds esprit de corps, supports Army fitness
goals and enhances community relations. The race has 35,000 runners competing each year and is the second largest 10-mile race in the U.S., after the Philadelphia Broad Street Run.
The qualifier, coordinated by Charice Smith, Kawamura Human Performance Center fitness program specialist, establishes the final Active-Duty and Open Mixed team rosters of eight athletes each, with two alternates, according to the best finish times.
“We’ll have 24 race bibs, total, for the Army Ten-Miler,” Smith said. “Eight of those will be worn by Soldiers from the Warrior Transition Battalion here, and the remaining 16 will be divided between the Active-Duty and Open Mixed teams.”
The 10K (6.2 mile) course followed an “out and back” format by which athletes ran 5K (3.1 miles) out (to the turnaround point at Waynewood Blvd.) on the paved path running along the banks of the Potomac River parallel to the George Washington Memorial Parkway, and then returned to the starting point at the “0” marker.
Once the final roster is established, the Belvoir teams will train two or three mornings each week, right up to the Army Ten-Miler.
One hopeful was particularly excited about competing in the annual qualifier, demonstrated by his willingness to fly nearly 5,000 miles the night before.
“This is a great race—great for team building,” said Maj. Richard Connaroe, who has run 10 Army Ten-Milers and arrived to the D.C. area the previous day. “I just PCS’d from Germany—I was there for two years—and now I work for the U. S. Army Legal Services Agency in the litigation division. The Ten-Miler is a great way to meet people. You see people around post and you don’t always know everybody, so this is a great way to meet a lot of like-minded people. Runners are pretty upbeat, happy people.”