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    District of Columbia, Florida, Indiana Take Top Honors During 41st Annual National Guard Marathon

    Running Toward Gold

    Photo By Andrew Nystrom | Finishing first in the National Guard women’s division and the fourth woman overall...... read more read more



    Story by Spc. Lisa Crawford 

    Joint Force Headquarters - Nebraska National Guard

    The heat did not deter more than 160 National Guard runners and ruck marchers from making their way to the finish line of the 41st Annual Lincoln National Guard Marathon held on May 6 in Lincoln, Nebraska.
    Taking top honors in the National Guard men’s and women’s division were runners from District of Columbia and Florida, while the Indiana National Guard team took home the National Guard team title at this year’s race.
    Capt. Kenny Rayner, commander of the District of Columbia Army National Guard’s Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 74th Troop Command, earned his second consecutive first-place title in the National Guard’s male division, finishing the 26.2-mile course with a time of 2 hours, 38 minutes and 55 seconds. Rayner also finished sixth overall of the Lincoln National Guard Marathon.
    Finishing first in the National Guard women’s division and the fourth woman overall with a time of 3 hours, 11 minutes, 29 seconds was Capt. Kimberly Quinn, an operations officer with the Camp Blanding Joint Training Center near Starke, Florida.
    The Indiana National Guard Marathon Team – including qualifying runners Jake Fisher, Eric Brown and Blaine Zimmerman, took the top team title away from multi-year defenders Pennsylvania National Guard with a combined average time of 2 hours, 59 minutes and 38 seconds. The Hawaii National Guard Marathon Team came in second place with an average time of 3:01:27, with the New Mexico National Guard team taking third at 3:03:35.
    Maj. Jason Doffin, captain for the Indiana National Guard Marathon Team, said that after several years of finishing either second or third, the team members made it their mission to come together for the win this year.
    “Mission accomplished,” Doffin said.
    Rayner also approached this marathon with goals of improvement over previous years.
    “I ran faster than last year, so I was pretty happy about that,” said Rayner who secured a position on the All Guard National Guard Marathon Team for the fifth time. “I just really love the Guard atmosphere. It’s hard to get a competition where all the Guardsmen from most states come together like this. I see some of these guys once a year, but it’s like they are really good friends. You come back and it’s like you just saw them the other day. It’s great camaraderie. ”
    Rayner said he usually runs the Boston Marathon, but this year he ran the Tokyo Marathon instead. By running in the Tokyo race, he said he was able to have more recovery team to prepare for the Lincoln National Guard Marathon. The weather, however, still brought him down from where he hoped to be.
    “It just got really hot,” Rayner said, noting that the second half of the course lacks shade of any kind. “The heat kind of got to you, but you just try to maintain pace, keep it steady and not fall apart.”
    The weather wasn’t as much a factor for Quinn, of Gainesville, Florida, who said she thrives in the heat. However, Nebraska’s elevation and gently rolling hills were a challenge for the runner, but she resolved to stay positive throughout the race.
    “It’s all mindset,” she said. “The best thing about an uphill is there is a downhill coming. And the overwhelming support along the entire race was so encouraging, and absolute energy to keep going.”
    The Lincoln National Guard Marathon was Quinn’s second ever, and her first time qualifying for the “All-Guard” marathon team. A human resources supervisor for the Florida National Guard State Surgeon, and a health and fitness coach, she said she is looking forward to the opportunity to share the National Guard through the healthy act of running.
    “It’s really awesome to represent the National Guard and Florida as part of a team that promotes being healthy,” Quinn said. “(Lt. Gen. Timothy) Kadavy, Army National Guard director, said the greatest threat to America right now is health, and I am looking forward to inspiring others to live healthier lives – and to consider joining the National Guard, too.”
    More than 13,500 runners registered for the Lincoln National Guard Marathon. Among those athletes, more than 160 marathoners were from the Army and Air National Guard, representing 45 states and two U.S. territories.
    While the majority of the Guardsmen ran for 26.2 miles in 85-degree weather to compete for coveted positions on the “All Guard” National Guard Marathon Team, nearly a dozen Citizen Soldiers and Airmen donned weighted ruck sacks and chose to march 13.1 miles of the course in remembrance and honor of fallen and deceased service members.
    The Lincoln National Guard Marathon has a long history of Guard and local community cooperation, said Maj. Gen. Daryl Bohac, Nebraska adjutant general.
    “The marathon is a fantastic opportunity for the National Guard to build upon that grassroots connection that is created for every one of us back into our communities; but most importantly, the connection that we make for the United States Army and the United States Air Force, because no one does it like we do,” Bohac said.
    According to the National Guard Marathon Coordinator, Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Sterns, the competition is designed to promote physical fitness and military readiness in the National Guard. The top runners at Sunday’s race will be selected as members of the 2018 “All Guard” Marathon Team, which travels to promote the National Guard and assist in recruiting and retention efforts across the United States.
    Sterns said the Marathon Program promotes both local and national levels of the Army and Air National Guard, and the Military Competitions Programs. The Marathon Program additionally encourages and enhances the National Guard Retention Program by instilling physical fitness, self-discipline, and esprit de corps among National Guard members from all 50 states and U.S. Territories.
    “The Lincoln National Guard Marathon is an important event that brings Soldiers and Airmen together with the local community to promote health and fitness within the State of Nebraska,” Sterns said. “As National Guard members it also instills camaraderie between the runners who come from all over the United States and Territories to compete.”



    Date Taken: 05.07.2018
    Date Posted: 05.07.2018 20:45
    Story ID: 276043
    Location: LINCOLN, NE, US 
    Hometown: ALEXANDRIA, VA, US
    Hometown: GAINESVILLE, FL, US
    Hometown: INDIANAPOLIS, IN, US

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