Every October, tens of thousands of runners flood the streets of the nation’s capital for the annual Army Ten-Miler race.
Fort Hood will be sending a team of active duty Soldiers to compete in this year’s race.
The Fort Hood Army Ten-Miler team will be holding its tryout on Aug. 9 at Belton Lake Outdoor Recreation Area. While the tryout isn’t for another couple of weeks, the team’s coach and captain are holding morning trainings six days a week to prepare.
While the tryout itself is open to all Fort Hood Soldiers, to participate in the morning trainings, runners must meet a few initial standards, as well as knowing they won’t be deployed before the race in October and show their commitment to the trainings, said Fort Hood Army Ten-Miler team captain 1st Lt. Nicole Stocks.
“For females, their two-mile run time has to be 15 minutes or less, and then for males, it’s 13 minutes or less,” she added.
On Mondays and Fridays, the group trains by running longer distances at Carl Levin Park in Harker Heights. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, they run laps at a faster pace on the track at Hood Stadium. Wednesdays are a recovery day, where the group runs shorter distances at slower paces. Saturdays, they focus on running much longer distances “to help really build that stamina.”
After the tryout, the team captain and coach will select a total of 18 runners for the race.
“Ideally, we want six females and 12 males,” Stocks said.
The team will be divided into smaller groups who will enter under various competition categories like active duty mixed gender and masters mixed gender.
“In particular, we’re looking for two more runners over 40 for the masters team,” Stocks said.
Last year, the Fort Hood team placed second in two divisions – active duty mixed and active duty masters mixed. The team is looking to match or even better that outcome this year, said Staff Sgt. Jorge Hernandez, the team’s coach.
“We started training earlier,” he said. “Last year, we started in mid-May and this year we started in March. ... So far the group is faster than last year.”
Any Soldier who likes running should look into trying out for the team, Stocks said.
“They can gain experience and then there’s that competition element there,” she said. “I think it’s really good for the Soldiers to come out and try something and kind of push their bodies to something they may have not experienced, or they have done but maybe get a better time.”
The 35th annual Army Ten-Miler race will be in Washington, DC, on Oct. 13.
The Fort Hood team tryout will be Aug. 9 at BLORA. The run will begin at 5 a.m., but runners should arrive by 4:15 a.m. to sign in.
For more information on the Fort Hood Army Ten-Miler team or to join the daily trainings, email Stocks at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on the Army Ten-Miler race, visit www.armytenmiler.com.