News: Service members, Civilians shadow Army 10-miler
Story by Staff Sgt. Luke Koladish
BAGHDAD--More than 980 service members and civilians gathered around the Victory Stage, Camp Victory, Iraq, to run the Army 10-miler hours before it was run in Washington.
At approximately 6 a.m. in Baghdad the runners took off as the first rays of from the sun made their way over the large concrete barriers. Robert Sekitto, a Ugandan contractor, quickly made his way to the front of the pack and stayed there for the rest of the race.
The runners were cheered by fellow service members and civilians, handed cups of water by volunteers and motivated by the music of the 56th Army Band, Multi-National Corps-Iraq.
Sekitto crossed the finish line at 56 minutes, 41 seconds and was followed by the first place female 10 minutes later.
Chief Warrant Officer Olga Elliott, Multi-National Corps-Iraq, Fort Lewis, Wash., completed the 10 miles in 1:07:22 sporting a white "Fort Lewis Ten-miler Team" T-shirt.
"I was running in honor of the Fort Lewis team in the rear and the folks that are deployed," Elliott said after the race.
For some, like Staff Sgt. Ryan Baldry, 143rd Military Police Detachment, Montana National Guard, it was the first time he had run more than six miles.
"It was the worse decisions I've made so far," Baldry said between deep breaths. He finished just over an hour and 16 minutes.
Elliott encouraged those training for longer distance to keep going and never quit.