News: Through motivation, runners go the distance
Story by Sgt. Cassandra Monroe
NAVAL STATION GUANTANAMO BAY, Cuba - Within the 13 to 26 long miles that make up both half and full marathon races, you may find sweat dripping down your face as your pace increases; each step getting faster as the beat in your headphones gets louder. You may find yourself lost in thought, making silent reminders to yourself to “keep pushing,” or “slow down, keep pace,” as your heart rate monitor warns you with beeps. You may be running solo, trying to achieve your personal best record, or running with a battle buddy, ensuring your motivation stays with you as you go.
After an early start and through the pain, miles and sweat, base residents ran the Morale, Welfare and Recreation Full and Half Marathons, Jan. 25. at U.S. Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
The marathon paths took residents and troopers up and over hills, to the Northeast Gate and along Kittery Road, right around the time the sun began to rise.
For some, the marathon was a way to try something new with a friend close by for motivation. Although the main goal was to complete the run, Army Staff Sgt. Marcos Rodriguez, military police, 613th Military Police Company, said that the run was a way to support his soldier and battle buddy.
“He’s 20 years old and I wanted him to see that he can do things that he has never done before,” he said. “We just wanted to finish and enjoy it, talk and see the scenery. I wanted to be with him the whole time to ensure he was able to finish it.”
Spc. Kevin Rosario, also military police with the 613th, ran his first half-marathon with Rodriguez.
“First, when you run alone, you think ‘man, how long has it been,’” he said. “But when I ran with him, we just kept talking and talking and then I realized we were already at the finish line.”
Army Sgt. Kyle Mullinix also had the experience of team work for his half-marathon race. Although he didn’t directly train for the marathon.
“I’ve been training my two-mile run time, but I’ve been doing a lot of four-mile runs and treadmill hill work,” said Mullinix. “But honestly, I knew one of my junior soldiers was out here doing it and I couldn’t let her do it without some support. I figured I would do it with her, and we got more people involved.”
This is Mullinix’s first half marathon and he is motivated to do more.
“I want to do another one, but I’m definitely glad with getting through my first one,” he said.
Army Staff Sgt. Casey Gore, with the Public Health Command, took first place in the full marathon, and attributed a positive, but self-challenging, attitude, training hard, and a healthy, balanced diet for his success in running.
“I usually train as I fight,” he said. “Make sure you eat properly, drink light fluids. Challenge your body, challenge your mind; your body can do amazing things. Challenge yourself.”