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Hitting stride: Fort Rucker’s 10-miler team preps for D.C. run

Runners on the Fort Rucker 10-miler team, Flyers, take to the road on a practice run at West Beach at Lake Tholocco Aug. 21. (Photo by Nathan Pfau)

Runners on the Fort Rucker 10-miler team, Flyers, take to the road on a practice run at West Beach at Lake Tholocco Aug. 21. (Photo by Nathan Pfau)

Published: August 29, 2014

FORT RUCKER, Ala. (August 29, 2014) -- After a record-breaking race during last year’s All-Army 10-Miler, the Fort Rucker 10-Miler team is prepping to take on the behemoth race again in hopes of repeating last year’s success.

With a potential of up to 35,000 runners competing in the All-Army 10-Miler in Washington, D.C., Oct. 12, the Fort Rucker Flyers have no shortage of competitors to go against, and Staff Sgt. David Seymour, NCO Academy and Flyers’ team captain, said they’re out to break records.

“Last year, we broke the post record for the 10-miler team by just under two minutes, with a total time of 3 hours, 57 minutes and 38 seconds,” said the team captain. “Hopefully, this year we’ll be able to hit a time around 3:55, which would be a tremendous improvement overall.”

Seymour, who’s on his third year running for the team, said that the team has lost its strongest runner from the previous year, but despite the loss, the new team is stronger than its predecessor.

“I think, with this team, we can break our record by another minute or so, which would set the bar higher for our team,” he said.

The team consists of eight members, to include: Seymour; CW4 Stephanie Rose, Headquarters Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 14th Aviation Regiment and co-captain; CW4 William Staniewicz, A Company, 1st Bn., 145th Avn. Regt.; Capt. Byron Critchfield, U.S. Army School of Aviation Medicine; Capt. Nicole Solana, USASAM; Capt. Gregory Griffith, A Co., 1st Bn., 145th Avn. Regt.; Staff Sgt. Raymond Huff, NCOA; and 2nd Lt. Kenneth Fischer, D Co., 1st Bn., 145th Avn. Regt.

Of those eight team members, only the best times for four of the eight will be counted toward the team’s overall score – the top female and top three males.

“We’re hoping to finish top 10 out of all the Army teams and top 15 out of all the teams, and there are more than 400 teams that enter the race,” said Seymour. “We should have five or six runners finish top 100 for military, so the team is very strong from bottom to top.”

Fort Rucker’s team was picked after 12 weeks of tryouts, and everything from practice participation, attitude and ability were factors that were taken into consideration, said the team captain.

“Throughout the selection process, one of the biggest factors that we were looking for was practice participation,” he said. “We wanted people who were willing to show up.

“You’re not going to improve and you’re not going to help the team if you’re not there, so the more practices you made throughout the 12 weeks, the more likely you were to get picked,” he continued. “Practice participation and overall ability has been the two main factors.”

Since choosing the team, the Flyers have been building up to a 75-mile week, per runner, and are currently running between 40-50 miles per week.

All of the runners will be competing in races throughout the Southeast to use as practice during the coming weeks leading up to the Army 10-miler, and as a team the last race the Flyers will compete in together before the big race will be the post gate-to-gate run.

“We try meet up to practice three to six times a week depending on where we are in the training, but each team member will run according to our plan, which has each runner running anywhere from six to seven times a week with one rest day if necessary,” said Seymour.

The team currently meets to run every Sunday at 6 a.m. at West Beach on Lake Tholocco, and Tuesdays and Thursdays at 5:30 a.m. with a 6 p.m. make-up practice run.

Seymour said the practices are open for anyone to join, and simply asks that people have a good attitude if they wish to participate.

Although the installation’s 10-miler team has high hopes for the upcoming competition, each contest isn’t without its hurdles.

“Our biggest challenge for any runner going into any competition is staying healthy. We have to balance training with fatigue and recovery,” said Seymour. “Making it to the starting line healthy is the most difficult part of racing.”

The team is able to overcome those obstacles by evaluating each runner as they go along, balancing recovery and nutrition, and seeing how each runner feels on a day-to-day basis.

As everything falls in place, Seymour said he and his team are ready to take on the Army 10-miler with full confidence.

This article was originally published at http://www.army.mil/article/132876/

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