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    Four NY Army National Guard members qualify for National Guard 2019 Marathon Team

    New York National Guard Marathon Team

    Photo By Sgt. Anna Pongo | Four New York Army National Guard Soldiers who have qualified to be part of the...... read more read more



    Story by Capt. Jean Marie Kratzer 

    New York National Guard

    Four New York Army National Guard Soldiers have been selected to join the National Guard's 2019 "All Guard" Marathon Team.

    Two hundred Army and Air National Guard members from 45 states and two territories competed for the 45 male and 15 female slots on the team during the 42nd Annual Lincoln National Guard Marathon in Lincoln Nebraska on May 5.

    All four New York Army National Guard Soldiers who participated in the
    Lincoln race-Captain Jean Marie Kratzer, Major Nick Whaley, Major Matthew
    Kane and Chief Warrant Officer Thomas Grove-- made the All Guard Team.

    The fastest male and female runners made the team.

    Kratzer, the commander of the 42nd Infantry Division's Headquarters and
    Support Company, lives in Cambridge; Whaley the executive officer for the 204th Engineer Battalion, is a Clifton Park resident; while Kane, the human resource operations branch officer for the 369th Sustainment Brigade, is from Schenectady. Grove, a maintenance officer in Bravo Company, 3rd Battalion, 126th Aviation lives in Rochester.

    To qualify to compete in the Lincoln Marathon, male Soldiers under the age of 40 must have run a recognized marathon 18 months prior to the Lincoln Marathon, in under four hours.

    For women and masters-40 and older runners-- the time requirement was 4 hours 30 minutes.

    To make the team this year the top 45 men had to come in under 3:22:05 and the top 15 females had to come in under 4:15:28. For Kane, it's his second time making the All Guard marathon team.

    "It's an honor and a privilege to make the Army National Guard Marathon Team two consecutive years in a row, representing New York and the 369th Sustainment Brigade, Kane said.

    The marathon program is designed to encourage and enhance the National Guard retention program by instilling physical fitness, self-discipline and esprit de corps among National Guard members from every state across the country, according to the Nebraska marathon team coordinator.

    All Guard Marathon Team members are expected to compete in five to eight marathons across the United States during the upcoming running season.

    Members get to choose from a list of marathons across the country to compete in.

    "Long distance running is a very self-motivating sport. By default, long
    hours are spent training which requires hours of mental strength. But
    running on a team is so different than running alone," Grove, said.

    Running as a team, means you have people to support you, Grove explained.

    "At this year's marathon Major Kane and I ran together for about two-thirds of the race. His pacing enabled me to run one of my best marathon times ever," Grove said.

    "Major Whaley is way faster than I ever dreamed of being, but his advice
    completely changed my future training plans, we work together as a team and we take each other's advice," Grove said.

    "It was the first race I ever ran that I paid close attention to my
    strides, focused on my water stations and paid attention to anyone who was passing me, I knew it was a competition and I had to keep going," Kratzer,said.

    "The sun started to peak at around mile 19, usually when the average
    distance runner starts hitting a wall, my only motivation was to keep
    moving, and I wanted to make the team." Kratzer added.

    Along with the camaraderie of the competition-there are not many people in the country who have completed a marathon-- the mental focus, physical strength and hundreds of miles a month we trained for this event added to the success of the New York team, Kratzer added.

    "Soldiers are inherently team members. We constantly train and fight
    together sharing the good and bad. While running on a team is still pretty
    foreign to me I'm learning it's also pretty awesome." Grove said.



    Date Taken: 05.15.2019
    Date Posted: 05.17.2019 08:40
    Story ID: 322625
    Location: LINCOLN, NE, US 

    Web Views: 115
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    Four NY Army National Guard members qualify for National Guard 2019 Marathon Team