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    Deployed 69th ADA Soldiers place in top positions during shadow run

    Deployed 69th ADA Soldiers place in top positions during shadow run

    Photo By Sgt. Brandon Banzhaf | Capt. Martha Esteban, a Riverside, California and commander of the Headquarters and...... read more read more

    Camp As Sayliyah, Qatar – The Army 10 Miler is held every October in Washington D.C. where tens of thousands runners participate, but shadow runs in various locations, mean deployed Soldiers don’t have to settle for missing this year’s race.

    Two Soldiers with the 69th Air Defense Artillery Brigade placed in this year’s Camp As Sayliyah Shadow Run, Oct. 9, here.

    “When I heard I won first place, I was in shock,” said Capt. Martha Esteban, a Riverside, California native and commander of the Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 69th ADA Bde. “I went out only for the enjoyment of running the event. I never expected to place in a run, especially in the Army 10 Miler.”

    She placed first in the female age group from 18 to 29 years old with a time of 1 hour and 22 minutes. When she crossed the line, she turned around and headed back down the track to motivate her Soldier.

    “It's not how you start, it’s how you finish,” Esteban said. “She finished strong knowing that she was more than capable of running 10 miles and overcoming the thoughts that she wasn’t going to finish.”

    By running alongside her Soldier, Esteban felt a sense of deja vu.

    This was the second time Esteban has participated in the Army ten miler. Her first was at the principle race in Washington D.C. in 2009 with over 20,000 runners participating.

    “In 2009, I ran the Army 10 Miler for the first time and was inspired by a Veteran who lost both of his legs,” she said. “He ran beside me, motivating me and ever since then, I’ve been running.”

    As the fastest times were being announced, Esteban wasn’t around to hear the applause. She was outside, helping her Soldier recover from the run.

    The announcer then called out another Soldier from the 69th ADA Bde as a top placer in this year’s shadow run – Maj. Wener Vieux.

    Vieux finished 2nd in the 40 and over, male category and shared Esteban’s excitement.

    “I didn’t think I was going to place, I had no clue,” said Vieux, a Spring Valley, New York native and the staff judge advocate for the brigade. “I was elated; I was very happy. Although this wasn’t the fastest time I ran it.”

    Vieux ran the Army 10 Miler three times before in Washington D.C. starting back in 2009, just like Esteban. This was the first time he has completed the run outside of United States.

    “Being out here in the heat, it’s been difficult to run plus I have been doing a lot more weight lifting,” he said. “My normal time is around 70 minutes, that’s less than a seven minute mile pace.”

    This time, Vieux thought it was impossible for him to finish the race in an eight minute mile pace, but a talk with his daughter helped change his way of thinking.

    “Dad, impossible is really I’m possible; you just need to apply yourself,” Vieux said, recalling his conversation with his 11-year-old daughter.

    “So the entire run I kept thinking that I wanted to finish with an eight minute pace,” he said.

    Both runners had their own motivation going into the race. Though not confident in their speeds, both placed and received a trophy.

    “It’s always an honor to run,” Vieux said. “It’s always a reminder of the sacrifices we make for our country and why it is so important to show pride in the uniform by participating in events like these.”



    Date Taken: 10.09.2016
    Date Posted: 10.20.2016 09:06
    Story ID: 212437
    Location: QA
    Hometown: RIVERSIDE, CA, US
    Hometown: SPRING VALLEY, NY, US

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