Army Ten Miler Weekend
31 December 2010 the MisFits woke up like any other day in Kandahar. Lace em up go out run early ,change go visit the local population while on patrol and guard what was FOB Wilson. One MisFit SGT Michael Beckerman had gone on to his Sapper brothers and was on patrol. By mid-morning that day he was taken from us and we all were changed.
People say time will bring closure and that is true for some not for all. It has been nearly three years and I know many of the MisFits and our extended brother hood still think of him regularly. This year I finally virtually met his mother Ms. Lisa. She is a very proud and strong Mom. She reached out for us to help get people to run or donate to the Missouri Military Memorial Foundation. I immediately spread the word and signed up. The only issue was I had already signed up for the Army Ten Miler. It was quickly settled I along with many other MisFits would run via satellite for the 5K and dedicate our weekend to SGT Beckerman.
When you start running it is hard to imagine making it more than the dreaded 5K you are working towards. Then you complete a couple of them and feel the need to expand to bigger races. You try the 10K, the ½ Marathon is the next step then of course the true test the Marathon. Along the way you make a list of races you want to run, your bucket list. I think most people will put down the NYC Marathon, and Boston Marathon as the ultimate bucket list races.
In 2011 I signed up for the Navy 10 Nautical Miler just outside of Memphis. I ran for team Fisher House. I wanted to run the Army 10 Miler (ATM) but missed registration due to being overseas. So my Military Services Bucket List was made, I already knocked out the Navy Race, I now needed the ATM, The Marine Corps Marathon (MCM), and the Air Force ½. By the end of this month 1 will be ¾ of the way through that list. J
On Saturday 11 October I drove down to DC. Went to the Expo at the DC Armory, right next to RFK Stadium, met some pretty cool people and saw a pretty good display of what the Army brings to the field of battle. The swag bag with a long list of sponsors left a bit to be desired with not much in it.
It was on to the Hotel after. I met up with the rest of the team from my Unit and we were given shirts donated by the Chemical Corps Regimental Association (CCRA), and others. We had a large group with us and it was cool to be a part of it. We went to Buffalo Wild Wings for dinner then back to the hotel for pre-race rituals.
Woke up early showered shaved got dressed then it was team meeting time (well picture time). Drank a couple bottles of water and walked the mile to the starting area. The Pentagon provided the backdrop for the starting area. The waves were set up with arches of balloons to identify with your color bib. Four of us decided to linger at the fourth wave and start there.
The Golden Knights parachuted in, the colors were posted and the National Anthem was performed by a Soldier. The crowd of 35,000 runners were all psyched up and started the slow moves forward as the cannon fired for each wave. As we got close to one of the overpasses the two bottles of water wanted to be released. Luckily for us the magical line of porta johns was right there. Of course the lines were huge and our wave was passing us as we waited. We got in and out quickly then ran to get to the back of our wave just in time to start.
At the start we were down to three staying together weaving in and out of traffic. With that many runners on a ten mile course weaving would be done all day. Every two miles there was a water / Gatorade point. This broke the race down to 5 two mile runs which was amazing. Without training in over 30 days I was nervous but confident about the run.
At mile 4 one of the guys on my team fell just ahead of us I stopped and helped him to his feet made sure he was good and it was back to business. At the 6 mile water point a man fell just in front of me on the water soaked cups on the ground. I side stepped him as the volunteers swooped in to help him. It was in here that runner comraderies came together as we were running next to the oncoming runners. Lots of high fives and awesome encouragement sped up my next miles.
The final two miles consisted of the awesome I395 onramp and bridge back over the river. It was the longest stretch of the race but as you descended you could see the Pentagon there to your front right. A few turns later and we were in the long finishing chute, with huge crowds yelling for us. Step two of the bucket list was complete in 1:33. Not a bad day after all.
I was glad to complete these 10 Miles for SGT Beckerman and it is on to the next.
What is on your run bucket list?