News: Arizona Guard team competes in 2013 Lincoln National Guard Marathon
LINCOLN, Neb. - Just three weeks after the terrorist bombing attacks at the Boston Marathon in Massachusetts, the 36th annual Lincoln National Guard Marathon took place in Nebraska, May 5. Despite the heightened presence of security at the Lincoln race, the determination of the marathoners to compete, and the spirit of the crowd present to cheer them on, was unfazed.
Four members of the Arizona National Guard trained to compete as a team. Unfortunately, leading up to race day, two of our teammates pulled up lame with foot injuries, which prevented them from participating and at that point it was too late to find replacements. Marathon training is a tough sport and unforgiving at times to the body after days and miles of hard work.
The two remaining Arizona team runners were Staff Sgt. Michael Herrington and Chief Warrant Officer 3 Chase Duarte, the team coordinator, both members of the Western Army Aviation Training Site in Marana.
“Every year, on the first Sunday in May, members of the Army and Air Guard assemble teams and compete for a coveted spot on the All-National Guard Marathon Team,” Duarte said. “The state-level, pre-selected teams travel to various NGB competitive events and, and upon making the National team, runners have the opportunity to travel for the next 12 months.”
Although, the soldiers from the desert were faced with fickle Midwest weather, this did not stop them from lining up with the rest of the 10,000 runners there ready to race.
“The course consisted of a 13-mile loop through scenic residential and downtown Lincoln, and then back 13 miles, which finished at the 50-yard line in Cornhusker Football Stadium,” Duarte said.
Both Arizona runners finished the race after tremendous efforts. Chase finished in three hours and five minutes placing him 105th overall and 8th in the 45-49 year old age group. He also narrowly made the All-Guard team as an alternate selection. Mike finished in 3 hours and 52 minutes, good enough for 515th overall and 74th out of 162 runners in the 35-39 age group category.
Pennsylvania took the team championship by virtue of its top three runners averaging two hours and 50 minutes for the marathon, and the top team will compete at the Army 10-miler in Washington, D.C., later in October.
Although, this year’s race has already come and gone, preparations for next year are already in progress. With more than 30 runners from units in Arizona interested in this year’s race, many who had not completed a qualifying marathon, it is anticipated to have even more interested for 2014.
For more information on how to join the team, contact Chief Warrant Officer 3 Duarte at 520-750-5552, email firstname.lastname@example.org or Staff Sgt. Herrington at 520-750-5544, e-mail email@example.com