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    Air Cav Troopers race to Army Ten-Miler

    Air Cav Troopers race to Army Ten-Miler

    Photo By Spc. DeMarco Wills | Pfc. Karlan Smith (left) and Spc. Dwight Massally (right) kneel in front of their unit...... read more read more

    Even though the members for the Army Ten-Miler team were chosen early this month, there is no rest for the weary. The Ten-Miler team members still have to show up to work just like every other Soldier.
    Two Air Cav Troopers will represent Echo Troop, 7-17th Cavalry Regiment as part of the III Corps Army-Ten Miler team in D.C. for the Army Ten-Miler on Oct. 9.
    Pfc. Karlan Smith, an Ammunition Specialist, qualified for the team with a time of an hour and three minutes and Spc. Dwight Massally, a Utilities Equipment Repairer, was not too far behind coming in just a minute after Smith.
    “I never thought I would actually make the team,” Smith said. “I figured I would be an alternate, but I never thought I was fast enough to be competitive.”
    “It felt great to make the team with someone else in my Troop,” Massally said. “I feel proud of myself to be able to compete on a talented team.”
    Training starts for the runners at 6 a.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Wednesday’s training is left to the discretion of each runner with the weekends being recommended rest days.
    “My mentality is to go hard every day, so I really have to force myself to rest on those easy days,” said Smith. “I have to make sure my body gets recovery to avoid injury.”
    They run at least eight miles per day with the team, which does not include the miles the Troopers run on their own.
    “For me, training is just another challenge, another mission to be completed,” said Massally. “I know I have a breaking point but I’m ready to go pass that to make my dream of winning the Army Ten Miler come true.”
    Born in Tongo, West Africa, Massally marks his achievement of joining the Ten Miler team one of his proudest moments behind joining the Army and becoming an American citizen.
    “This is a dream come true to be able to represent both my squadron and this country in the race,” he said.
    “Massally motivates me,” Smith said. “I’m staring at his back trying to stay with him. He’s the reason why I’m faster.”
    There is not much rest time for these two after morning practice. Both Troopers live off post each with a 15 minute commute to and from Fort Hood. The two still make it to work by 9 a.m. for duty.
    “I always tell myself to keep my legs moving,” said Massally. “It gets painful but I tell myself to keep going.”
    “You need to be self-motivated to be successful on this team,” Smith said. “It does help having someone in the fight with you to keep you going.”
    Including their practices, Smith and Massally run twice per day averaging at least 14 miles per day.
    “I’m nervous because so much stuff is coming up for our unit,” Smith said. “We have a lot of field exercises. We are Soldiers first, but we are also participating in this amazing opportunity.”
    7-17th Cavalry Regiment is currently conducting aerial gunnery training, and have field exercises in September and October in which both Troopers have a missions to complete as a part of the Squadron.
    “It feels like I belong to an organization that trusts me to do great things,” Massally said. “I’m thankful for their support. I’ll work hard to win this race for them.”
    Smith aims to finish the race in the top 50 and finish the race in under an hour and try out for the All Army Cross Country Team later this year.
    Massally wants to run the race in under 50 minutes and start training for Ranger school after the race is over.



    Date Taken: 08.19.2016
    Date Posted: 08.25.2016 11:08
    Story ID: 208135
    Location: FORT HOOD, TX, US 

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