Sgt. Bianca Ayers
Task Force Dragon
More than 700 runners assembled in the desert at Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, for a predawn 10-mile run here Oct. 9., to shadow the 27th Army Ten-Miler held in Washington, D.C.
"The run was a huge success today," said Rose McEachin, Al Asad’s Morale, Welfare and Recreation Program supervisor.
Adding, "We’ve done this many times here in Iraq, but this is the first time we’ve had such a huge turnout — thanks to the support from the leadership here."
Events like this play a huge part in the life of deployed service members.
"It really is important to conduct events like this while deployed," said 1st Sgt. Oscar C. Romine, first sergeant, Operations Company, Task Force Dragon, XVIII Airborne Corps, and one of the event’s organizers.
Adding, "It really helps to build esprit-de-corps, strengthen camaraderie and remain physically fit in an operational environment."
For many runners, this wasn’t their first Army Ten-Miler, but it was certainly a big change doing it while deployed.
"I’ve done the race in D.C. seven times — it really is the thing to do in October," said Lt. Col. Mary Campbell, deputy secretary for joint staff operations, United States Forces – Iraq (USF-I).
"The scenery here is definitely different, in Washington it’s nice to run by all the monuments and have the large crowds. Here is it rather brown and the crowds are smaller," she added.
The male overall winner was Capt. Curtis Persinger with the 940th Military Police Co., 149th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, who came in with a time of 59:49.
The female overall winner was Capt. Laura Ahlert, with the USF-I military intelligence directorate, coming in with a time of 1:08:50.
The team with the most people participating was Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, XVIII Airborne Corps.
The Army Ten-Miler is an annual race put on by the Army’s Military District of Washington and is the Army’s premier running event.
Each year, service members in deployed locations participate in the race through shadow runs.