News: Paratrooper competes in her first 10-miler
By Sgt. Devin James, 40th Public Affairs Detachment
FORT BRAGG, N.C. – More than 400 paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg tackled the All American Week 10-mile run May 21.
Every year, tens of thousands of paratroopers honor the long, prestigious history of the 82nd with All American Week, a week of team events, beginning with a four-mile division run, and followed with many sporting events, notably the 10-mile race.
The paratroopers ran in teams, some already having many 10-mile races under their belts while others using this opportunity to complete their first.
As the teams signed in, many began their pre-run stretches, hops, skips and warm-up runs, while others simply headed for the start line to stand and wait for the horn to blow and the race to begin.
“If I can do it, so can they,” said Sgt. Angel Bloodworth, the noncommissioned officer in charge of tech supply for 1st Battalion 82nd Division’s Combat Aviation Brigade, from Warner Robbins, Ga.
Bloodworth was the only female competing for her team at the race. She said she hopes to motivate others to step up and challenge themselves.
The paratroopers showed tremendous support for one another, yelling out encouraging words to their teammates and fellow paratroopers as they ran by.
“Sgt. Bloodworth ran with consistency and was always motivating the people around her,” said Chief Warrant Officer 2 James C. Smith, team captain for the 1st Battalion 82nd Division’s Combat Aviation Brigade 10-miler team.
Training for an event like a 10-mile run isn’t easy for everyone, said Smith.
“We all had different work schedules, work requirements and unit requirements that had to be met before training for the race,” he added.
The 10-mile race took Bloodworth and the more than 400 competing Paratroopers five miles out from Pike Field to Vass Road, turning around and heading back the opposite direction for the final half of the race.
Keeping the pace you set for yourself is one of the difficulties when running a 10-mile race, said Bloodworth. She ran the same route once prior to the actual race and got a feel for what she needed to do to push for a faster time.
Bloodworth said for the two and a half weeks prior to the 10-mile race, her team ran three to four miles on Mondays, six miles on Tuesdays, three to four miles on Wednesdays, eight miles on Thursdays, and their regular company runs on Fridays. Their commitment extended into their personal time as each team member reported training on Saturday’s.
“It amazed me to see how this team’s members worked around their individual schedules and found time to prepare for the race,” said Smith.
Running in a 10-mile race is a huge event for some, having never run more than six miles.
“It’s a commitment to step up to a 10-miler,” said Smith.
Bloodworth improved her run time from one hour, 28 minutes to one hour and 26 minutes within just a couple days time, showing her hard work continues to pay off as she continues toward her goal of one hour and 20 minutes.