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    Tennessee Army National Guard team runs nearly 200 miles for charity

    Tennessee Army National Guard team runs nearly 200 miles for charity

    Photo By Master Sgt. Robin Brown | Twelve Soldiers with the Tennessee Army National Guard's 1/230th Air Cavalry Squadron,...... read more read more



    Story by 1st Sgt. Robin Brown 

    Tennessee National Guard Public Affairs Office

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Twelve Soldiers with the Tennessee Army National Guard's 1/230th Air Cavalry Squadron, based at Joint Base Berry Field in Nashville, Tenn., participated in the 2015 Ragnar Relay Oct. 23 through 24.

    "I love running and this is a very challenging race," said Staff Sgt. Jessica Wood, Tennessee State Aviation Office Administrative NCO. This was her second time running the Ragnar Relay; last year she said she just ran for fun.

    "It's bittersweet," said Capt. David Swan about finishing the race. Swan is the Squadron Training Officer for the 1/230th ACS, and was the team leader for the unit's running team. "Halfway through my last run, it couldn't end fast enough, but we had a lot of good times out there on the roads and in the vans. It's one of those things where it's hard to describe why it's fun to people, but it really is."

    The race, which is nearly 200 miles in total from Chattanooga, Tenn., to Nashville, Tenn., usually takes teams between 24 and 36 hours to complete. Each of the Soldiers ran three separate legs to complete the race, ultimately finishing in just over 30 hours. Each of the legs varies in distance, so no two runners run the same distance by the end of the race.

    "The shortest overall distance is about ten miles, and the longest one is about 22 miles," said 1st Sgt. Terry Hurley, HHT 1/230th ACS. "The team was broken into two groups of six, and we had two vehicles, one for each team."

    "I'm glad it's over. I'm ready for a shower and a nap; but it was a lot of fun," Swan said.

    The Soldiers came together to raise money for the Fallen Aviator Memorial Scholarship Fund, established by the Volunteer Chapter of the Army Aviation Association of America, also known as Quad-A. The fund honors those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty.

    "Everybody dug deep all night, when the rain came in, we just kept at it," said Swan. "I really appreciate all the hard work the team did in the last few months preparing for this. It really represented Army Aviation, the Tennessee National Guard, and the Quad-A chapter."

    The group raised over $4,000 for the scholarship fund.

    "This year, we wanted to use that money to start the scholarships honoring Chief Warrant Officer 4 Dan Cole and 1st Lt. Thomas Williams," said Swan. They were on a routine training flight when their OH-58D helicopter went down in Campbell County, Tenn., in 2011.

    "I really like that we were running to raise money for a scholarship that helps children of our fallen aviators," said Wood.

    The Soldiers were tired after running together all that way, but they were happy to have that experience.

    "We had a lot of sore muscles, but it was a good opportunity for team building and camaraderie," said Hurley.

    "I thought it was awesome to see how the whole team pulled together, cheering each other on," said Wood. "Now that the race is over, I am ready to do it again next year.

    The team finished in 81st place out of 258 teams for the regular 12 person teams. They also finished in 5th place out of 16 in the mixed gender public service division.

    For more information about the Ragnar Relay, visit



    Date Taken: 10.23.2015
    Date Posted: 11.03.2015 12:24
    Story ID: 180750
    Location: NASHVILLE, TN, US

    Web Views: 106
    Downloads: 0