FORT BLISS, Texas – Japheth Ng’ojoy took the men’s overall first place trophy with a time of 1:11:59, besting 177 other runners in the Fort Bliss Half Marathon, Nov. 16, at the Joshua W. Soto Gym, while Roslyn Floyd claimed the women’s overall first place with a finish time of 1:43:08.
Kenneth Rotich, 1:17:15, men’s division, and Leah Clark, 1:48:46, women’s division, finished in second place of the 13.1-mile race.
The second race of the day, the 5k Turkey Trot, saw Benjamin Hartwig, at 19:33, and Michaela Dorf, at 23:08, as the overall winners of the men and women’s category, respectively, in a competition of 210 runners.
“It’s always different competition at every race, so you never know if you will win,” said Ng’ojoy, a lab technician at William Beaumont Army Medical Center. “I try to run at least five days a week and recommend a lot of long distance running to prepare for marathon running.”
Both races were divided into male and female age groups: 1-12, 13-19, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49 and older than 50. Medals were awarded to the overall male and female winners as well as the top three finishers of each age group, with the 5k winners also taking home a hefty frozen turkey.
The races, hosted by Fort Bliss Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Sport department, sent runners on a tour of East Bliss. The half-marathon started at the Soto gym, headed to Haan Road underpass and the combat vehicle trail along state Highway Spur 601 before returning to the finish line at the gym, while the 5k Turkey Trot followed a shorter route around the 1st Armored Division headquarters.
Like most Bliss MWR Sports races, the Trot and marathon were open to military and civilian runners of all ages. This year’s youngest runner, Olivia Meadows, 4, beat some of the older runners by completing the Turkey Trot with her mother, Wendy, in only 54:20.
“I think it is great to see children being involved,” said Staff Sgt. Raquel Orozco of 1st Armored Division, who finished the half marathon in 1:54:55. “It’s not just about speed, but the experience of running a race.”
To see the final race results, visit www.ceptiming.com. Runners can also visit https://www.facebook.com/teamblisssports for information about future events, such as the 8k run scheduled for 8 a.m. Saturday at the Soto gym.