The Fort Hood Ten-Miler Team reaped the rewards of their labor Oct. 13 in Washington D.C. at the 35th annual Army Ten-Miler.

Fort Hood took second place in two team categories, active duty mixed with a combined time of 3:51:57 and active duty masters with a combined time of 4:51:55.

“It’s a great sensation seeing the entire team coming in the top 100,” Staff Sgt. Jorge Hernandez, Phantom Warrior Academy, coach for the Ten-Miler team, said. “There are so many people, so many runners, you start seeing people coming in the top 15 top 20, top 50 and they are coming really quick.”

All of the team members had fun and were motivated by each other and Soldiers they had never even met.

“When I got to mile four or so and Sgt. Maj. Nash, who is the rear command sergeant major for the Corps. He was there rooting us on. I thought that was pretty cool to see someone there from our own unit rooting us on and running next to wounded warriors. (It) made everything seem so much better,” 1st Sgt. Richard Littlefield, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, U.S. Army Garrison – Fort Hood, said. “You know it’s hurting right now, but these guys and gals are out here pushing it and they don’t have the same abilities that I have now and they are still giving 100%. It’s just motivating to me.”

Lt. Nicole Stocks, 36th Engineer Brigade, captain of the Ten-Miler team, agreed with Littlefield. She said it was nice to be around people that share the same passion and to see people encouraging each other.

“Running with people who are passionate about it and want to be there and it’s really cool because they’re exceptional people,” Stocks said.

Stocks attributes the team’s success to a lot of training and teamwork.

“He’s (Hernandez) the coach and so he has a phenomenal training plan and then, on my end, I make sure everyone’s accountable and we actually create this team cohesion. The teamwork in addition to the training plan I think helps motivate and push these runners to do well,” Stocks said.

Stocks and Hernandez found it most rewarding to see their team mates so happy to improve their times and want to become better. Littlefield found it rewarding to represent III Corps.

“I poured and Sgt. Hernandez did too, our hearts into it to try to make the team as best as we could this year,” Stocks said. “It’s nice to see hard work pay off.”

Though placing second in two team categories is no small feat, especially when there are 35,000 runners you’re competing against, first place is always the big goal and Stocks and Hernandez are planning to start practicing for next year’s race sooner rather than later.

 “In the past, they used to start the team, like March, April timeframe, which isn’t really enough to train up. We are just going to keep training year-round,” Stocks said.

For anyone that is interested in training for the Army Ten-Miler team and are curious about the qualifications email Lt. Nicole Stocks at The next Army Ten-Miler in D.C. will be held Oct. 11, 2020.