Twenty-one Fort Hood soldiers will travel 1,482 miles to Washington, D.C., on Friday for the annual Army Ten-Miler.
The event drew 35,000 registrants on 690 teams, said Shaunteh Kelly, spokeswoman for the Military District of Washington. Participants come from U.S. Army installations around the world.
Fort Hood’s team captain Sgt. Maj. Timothy Wagley, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, started spreading word about the race in April, he said.
The roster filled up by May 1, the first day of qualification.
“We did two time trials, and based on these time trials, whatever they ran, we selected the top ones from the time trial. Of course, we got a few runners that do a few other things that are very competitive and can make the team every time,” Wagley said. “They’ve got to be very dedicated in running. You just don’t go out and run a 60-minute 10-mile with no training or anything like that.”
Some have trained since June, and all have trained since August.
The team ran four to five miles on Tuesdays at Harker Heights High School, did a combined seven to nine miles of tempo — or sprint-increment — runs and hill dashes on Thursdays, and 10- to 13-mile runs on Saturday mornings.
The Fort Hood Army Ten-Miler Mixed Masters Team has six runners and four scorers.
Wagley, who is running his third straight year for Fort Hood, said he nominated himself for team captain, simply for the opportunity.
Sixty runners showed for the qualifying round, Wagley said.
“We had over 60 people run the qualifying run and then, of course, we had some that ended up having to deploy, having to go to school, so we lost some to that type of attrition,” Wagley said. “We had a good showing.”
Runners will start at the Pentagon in Arlington, Va., cross the Potomac River into downtown Washington, bolt past national monuments, cross back over the river and end at the Pentagon.
“The atmosphere is amazing,” Wagley said.
To win the Commander’s Cup, the event’s crown jewel, Wagley believes his Mixed Masters would have to clear 55 minutes, which they haven’t done yet. But he thinks they can be competitive.
“Everybody’s up there to compete, to get bragging rights, ... so it’s kind of that friendly rival-type of thing where, ‘Our post is better than your post,’” he said. “The competition and the esprit de corps of it is hard to describe.”