The Fort Hood Army Ten-Miler team competed in the virtual Ten-Miler last week and despite not going to DC to compete this year, the team performed well.

“All 12 runners executed a race that surpassed their time trial time. Official results won’t come out until Oct. 23. Regardless of what they are, I am proud of the team’s integrity and duty,” Capt. Eduardo MendezLanda, Troop B, Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center and captain of the ten-miler team, said.

They all elected to run together, while remaining safe and socially distanced at Cameron Park in Waco. MendezLanda felt that togetherness was important for the team.

“We ran together. As team captain, it was important for me to bring the runners together for race day and create a traditional race atmosphere,” MendezLanda said. “We organized a route downtown Waco’s Cameron Park, recruited friends and family to volunteer for support such as water stations, cheerers and even give out post-race snacks to every runner. We maintained appropriate public health measures and had safe and successful race.”

All 12 runners placed in the top 200 out of all 23,000 racers. Capt. Jonathan Argyle finished the fastest out of all the Fort Hood runners with a time of 52:16. It was his best time to date, making him the 14th fastest finisher out of all the racers in the nation.

When asked why it’s important to have the race in a nontraditional way, MendezLanda believes it’s important to preserve traditions.

“The Army Ten-Miler started in 1985 to promote the Army, build esprit de corps, support fitness goals and enhance community relations. All the participating runners captured this virtually as seen through the event’s social media. Our team also accomplished those goals,” MendezLanda said. “Also, we started training in January and were determined to finish. Lastly, I want to recognize 1st Sgt. Angel Morales, who finished his 10th official ATM.  1st Lt. David Byers who has represented III Corps four times, said that ‘The Ten-Miler team is a great way to show individual and installation pride’ which indeed is the essence of the race regardless of how is done.’”

MendezLanda is looking forward to next year’s race, with hopes that things might return to normal.

“First, I sincerely hope to be in DC for the 37th ATM. I think just being there will be a win and it will signify that things are safer for everyone,” he said. “As far as performance, we want the Eagle!”

The team will start training for the next Army Ten-Miler in January of next year, using the same four phase approach they attempted to this year until the pandemic disrupted it.

“As public health recommendations allow, we will participate in races throughout the year,” he said. “I want to encourage interested Soldiers who run sub 13:00 for males and sub 14:45 for females to contact me at edu.mendez@hotmail.com.”