Cpt. Justin Marburger, right, of the 69th Air Defense Brigade, leads his team in a morning run Thursday May 22, 2014 down Indian Trail in Harker Heights.

Capt. Justin Marburger won’t ever forget his first time at the Army Ten-Miler race in Washington, D.C., two years ago.

“I didn’t know what I was getting myself into,” Marburger said. “Thirty-thousand people were just running and it was awesome. ... You just go.”

Now Marburger, of the 69th Air Defense Artillery Brigade, is helping other runners interested in training for the race as a coach.

Marburger and a team of runners meet bi-weekly to train for the race at 6 a.m. in Harker Heights. Practice is held each Tuesday at the Carl Levin Park and Thursday at the Heights High School track.

The Army Ten-Miler is an annual event produced by the Military District of Washington with the proceeds benefitting Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation programs.

The mission of the race is to promote the Army, build up spirit, support Army fitness and enhance community relations.

Marburger said the race is a great opportunity to meet people from all over the world and showcase everything the nation’s capital has to offer.

“There’s a lot of people from Europe, Germany, Korea; all come to these races and it’s phenomenal for people to see them, meet other soldiers and engage in an Army or military environment,” Marburger said.

The race begins next to the Pentagon and participants run past the Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument and Jefferson Memorial along with the Korean and World War II Memorials.

Racers can also see the White House and Capitol building during the event.

“You really get to showcase what Washington, D.C., is all about,” Marburger said.

Jorge Hernandez was the highest finisher from Fort Hood in last year’s race after posting a net time of 56 minutes, 46 seconds.

Marburger ran both cross-country and track at West Point while pursuing his degree in kinesiology. For him, the important thing about the club isn’t where they finish at the event, but that they are shaving valuable fractions of a second and whole seconds during their training.

“I think that’s the goal, regardless of how well our team does up there,” Marburger said. “As long as everyone comes to the practices and improves, regardless if they’re super fast or slow. If they make the team and improve, that’s all you can really ask for.”

For more information about the team, contact Marburger at 610-207-5735. To learn more about the Army Ten-Miler, visit armytenmiler.com.

Contact Albert Alvarado at alvarado@kdhnews.com

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