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    National Guard Soldiers on the All-Guard Endurance team from four states win the Lincoln Marathon Rucksack Relay

    National Guard Soldiers on the All-Guard Endurance team from four states win the Lincoln Marathon Rucksack Relay

    Photo By Maj. Jean Kratzer | National Guard Soldiers on the All-Guard Endurance team from four states win the...... read more read more



    Story by Maj. Jean Kratzer 

    Headquarters, 42nd Infantry Division

    126 National Guard members competed in the Lincoln, Nebraska 26.2 miles rucksack relay on Sunday May 1. The National Guard Endurance team came in first with almost a 25-minute lead.

    The team members finished in first place with a finish time of 3:51:40.

    14 National Guard Ruck march teams, each comprising nine service members from different states, completed the marathon in a relay while carrying 35-pound rucksacks and guidons, small flags displayed by military units. Each runner was responsible for about three miles.

    Forming the relay team wasn't too much of a challenge, joked 1st Sgt. James Roller of Iowa "some people volunteered, and some were voluntold."

    Members of the winning team include:

    1st Sgt. James Roller, Team Captain, Iowa
    Capt. Gary Parks, Indiana
    Capt. Valentine Roberts, Hawaii
    Capt. Lauren Meyer, Ohio
    1st Lt. Blaine Zimmerman, Indiana
    Sgt. Maj. Joe McFarren, Indiana
    Sgt. 1st Class Jerrod Abel, Ohio
    Sgt. 1st Class Chris Edwards, Ohio
    Spc. Nate Sink, Ohio

    Until this past year, the Lincoln Marathon served as the annual time trial for the nation's All-Guard Marathon Team, but those spots are now determined every two years.

    Still, approximately 200 National Guard soldiers and airmen from 28 states participated, including 30 members who competed individually in the marathon or half-marathon.

    The Lincoln Marathon has served as the official time trial for Soldiers and Airmen hoping to compete for a spot on the "All Guard" Marathon team every year since 1984, with one exception. The 2020-time trial shifted to the Omaha Marathon in September after the Lincoln race was canceled during the height of the first wave of COVID-19 in Nebraska.

    "Around the country in the National Guard Marathon community, this is known as the 'Super Bowl,'" said Nebraska Army National Guard Sgt. 1st Class Douglas Stephens, National Guard marathon coordinator. "Everyone wants to be chosen to represent their state in Lincoln. Every race I go to, competitors talk about Lincoln."

    "It's awesome, so to see these guys and all the hard work they put in coming across the finish line. It's awesome to know that they gave it their all to try to win," Stephens said.

    The All-Guard Endurance Team began as an idea to expand the existing National Guard Marathon Program, which promotes the Army and Air National Guard both locally and nationally while bolstering the National Guard Retention Program by instilling physical fitness, self-discipline, and esprit de corps among National Guard members.



    Date Taken: 05.03.2022
    Date Posted: 05.03.2022 14:40
    Story ID: 419861
    Location: LINCOLN, NE, US

    Web Views: 625
    Downloads: 0