‘In the Heat Run’: Participants compete to represent in Army Ten-Miler
Master Sgt. Kelly McCargo,
1st AD and Fort Bliss Public Affairs:
More than 238 El Paso runners and servicemembers showed their mettle during the 2012 Ten Mile “In the Heat Run” at the Sgt. Joshua W. Soto Physical Fitness Center Aug. 11.
“This is an Army Ten-Miler qualifier event,” said Aaron Jones, Fort Bliss MWR Sports Fitness manager. “The top five runners, five men and five women that place today will represent Fort Bliss in D.C. during the Army Ten-Miler.”
“Today is the last qualifier, and we’ll take the top eight, men and women, and that will be our team going to D.C.,” said Brandon Gangstad, Team Bliss Army Ten-Miler coach.
Gangstad said the coaching staff has already been working with several runners from previous qualifier events for the Army Ten-Miler Oct. 21 in Washingon D.C.
“We’ve been practicing Monday through Saturday, working on speed and hills trying to gear them to be the best. I’m very optimistic because we have some super fast folks based on our times, and we believe with our training we are going to get there and we’re going to come out on top,” he said.
While many men and women vied for the Army Ten-Miler team slots, a great deal more just came for the challenge and camaraderie.
“I’ve been training for the Bliss Marathon coming in November, so this was good training and I wanted to pace some of my Soldiers running this event too,” said Master Sgt. Louis Aguilar, operations sergeant major for the 72nd Brigade Support Battalion, 212th Fires Brigade. “I feel I did good … I strained my quads Tuesday so I wanted to see how it felt today.”
The race for another was far more of a challenge because, about two years prior, physicians told him he would never walk again, let alone run.
“On May 30, 2008, I was in a motorcycle accident, and I broke my neck and back,” said Chief Warrant Officer Brian Perinon, 15th Sustainment Brigade, airborne “red hat” drop adviser. “Before then I was running six-minute miles. The doctors issued me a bed and Soldiers had to come take care of me.
“I worked persistently and six months later I was able to use crutches,” he said. “In 2010 I was cleared from profile and ready to rock. I started running again … I went to an 18-minute mile in 2009.
“Every time [Fort Bliss MWR] has these events I do them, and I’m feeling better each time,” he continued. “I can still pass my [Army physical fitness test], and I’m still jumping from planes.”
Though he did not make the Fort Bliss Army Ten-Miler team, he said it’s not going to prevent him from achieving a personal goal.
“I always look at it as ‘not being able to walk to running in the Army Ten-Miler in D.C.,’” Perinon said. “I’m going to D.C. to run it this year.”
The overall first-place men’s runner was Spc. Stephen Czupryna, information analyst for Headquarters and Headquarters Bn., 1st Armored Division.
The overall first-place women’s runner was 1st Lt. Maia Paris of B Battery, 2nd Battalion, 501st Aviation Regiment, Combat Aviation Bde.
Fort Bliss personnel and El Paso runners of all ages are invited to attend the upcoming German-American Run at Freedom Crossing Sept. 8; Fall “Iron Soldier” Triathlon, at the Fort Bliss Replica Aquatic Center, Sept. 29; and the Fort Bliss Marathon, Half Marathon and 5K at Soto Nov. 3.
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