By Spc. Sophia R. Lopez
Multi-National Division-Center Public Affairs Office
CAMP VICTORY, Iraq – Each year, tens of thousands of runners and spectators go to Washington, D.C., to enter the Army 10-miler run. The race starts and finishes at the Pentagon, passing the Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument and the capitol building as it makes its way through our nation's capitol.
On Camp Victory, 1,256 service members and civilians participated in a shadow run which started at the Victory Stage Oct. 5, 2008.
The race on Camp Victory was sponsored by the Morale, Welfare and Recreation centers, while the 10th Mountain Division Rock Band provided entertainment before and after the race.
"This run gives deployed Soldiers the opportunity to participate [in the Army 10-miler], and gives them a feeling of doing something that they could do at home," said Lt. Col. Sean Clark, of Oviedo, Fla., Camp Victory Mayor, 2145th Garrison Support Unit.
The Army 10-Miler was created to promote the Army, build esprit de corps, support fitness goals, and enhance community relations.
"I ran for the T-shirt," said Sgt. 1st Class Thomas Matthews, of Neversink, N.Y., analysis and control element, Bravo Company, 10th Mtn. Div. "But it's also something to prove to yourself that you can go the distance and finish something you start."
The purpose of the race differs slightly between the stateside race and the shadow runs.
"The Army 10-miler collects money for MWRs and for the families," said Sgt. Lamont Jolly, of Nashville, Tenn., referring to the stateside run. "The run [here] builds morale, relieves stress, and there's the cardio aspect, showing we're Army strong."
Soldiers were not the only participants in the 6th annual shadow run at Camp Victory.
"This is also a way to come together. All services participated in this run," said Jolly, the MWR non-commissioned officer-in-charge, Task Force Eagle, 2145th GSU.
"There are about half a dozen locations throughout Iraq that are hosting shadow runs," Clark said. "There are about 30,000 combined participants. The Army 10-miler is the largest race in the U.S., and the second in the world."
The 1st Army 10-Miler was held Oct. 13, 1985 in Washington D.C. and featured 1,600 registered runners. Last year's run featured 17,600 runners.
The stateside race includes a team competition and individual competition. The Camp Victory Army 10-miler only featured individual winners. The top five male and female runners were recognized. These winners were:
1st place male: Sgt. Chris Lawrence, of Tahlequah, Okla., 10th Mtn. Div. Band, 52:08.
1st place female: 1st Lt. Kristy Bischoff, of Scottsdale, Ariz., 86th Combat Support Hospital, 1:13:16.
2nd place male: Col. Curtis Persinger, of Louisville, Ky., 223rd Military Police Company, 56:45.
2nd place female: Capt. Erica Chabalko, of Pompano Beach, Fla., 4th Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mtn. Div., 1:13:27.
3rd place male: Capt. Stephen Killian, of Charleston, S.C., 525th Field Artillery, 4th BCT., 10th Mtn. Div., 56:48.
3rd place female: Sgt. Melinda Boatner, of Okeechobee, Fla., Bravo Company, Division Special Troops Battalion, 4th Infantry Div., 1:13:53.
4th place male: Navy Cmdr. Conrad Orloff, of Columbia, Md., Multi-National Corps – Iraq, 59:23
4th place female: Staff Sgt. Rebeca Broedel, of North Brookfield, N.Y., Joint Interrogation and Debriefing Center, 201st Military Intelligence Battalion, 1:13:57
5th place male: Matt Boyd, of Fredericksburg, Va., MNC-I, 1:00:01.
5th place female: Capt. Calina Snyder, of Colorado, JOTF-C, 1:15:16.