11th ADA Soldiers win honors in Army Ten-Miler
Staff Sgt. Norman Llamas,
11th ADA Brigade Public Affairs:
Upon hearing the title “Army Ten-Miler,” most people may say, “that sounds long and painful,” because running isn’t something everybody enjoys doing. Then you have people like Lt. Col. David E. Shank, commander, 1st Battalion, 43rd Air Defense Artillery Brigade, and Capt. Rita C. Rosales, commander, Battery A, 2-43 ADA, who love to run, and that title to them means a chance to test themselves against other runners.
“The Army Ten-Miler is the third largest ten-mile race in the country,” said Shank. “It’s a great opportunity for Soldiers to compete not just individually, but also as a team. … “It’s all about bragging rights.”
The race is held annually in Washington and this year happened on Oct. 21. More than thirty thousand participants, both national and international, ran in the event.
The mission of the Army Ten-Miler is to promote the Army, build espirit de corps, support fitness goals and enhance community relations. The Army Ten-Miler is produced by the U.S. Army District of Washington located at Fort Lesley J. McNair. Proceeds from the race go to the Army Morale, Welfare and Recreation, a comprehensive network of support and leisure services designed to enhance the lives of Soldiers and their families, according to the Army Ten-Miler website.
“There were two teams from Fort Bliss that competed in the Army Ten-Miler; the men’s active-duty team and the women’s active-duty team, both in the Commanders’ Cup category,” said Rosales. “This year, the active duty women’s team earned 3rd place out of 19 teams represented in the Commander’s Cup category.”
Shank was part of the Fort Bliss Masters Team. The masters’ team is for runners over the age of 40.
“I ran a little slower than I expected,” said Shank. “Although, I am very pleased with my performance and with being able to help Team Bliss Masters win 2nd Place, overall.”
Both Shank and Rosales feel they are above average runners and both of them had their own reasons for participating.
“I felt I could help Team Bliss bring home the win, the camaraderie amongst the competitors and also being able to represent Fort Bliss – those were my main reasons for competing in the event,” said Shank.
“I’m a competitive person and it was somewhat of a frustrated goal I had to fulfill because last year I was unable to participate because of a deployment,” said Rosales. “While deployed, I trained hard and after redeploying, I made it a point to qualify again and be able to compete in D.C. this year, which happens to be my last year at Fort Bliss.”
Rosales was Team Bliss Women’s team captain for the 2012 competition.
“I feel truly lucky and honored to have been selected to lead the Fort Bliss Women to D.C. this year,” said Rosales. “This team is comprised of some of the most capable, confident, enthusiastic, strong, intelligent, and positive women Soldiers with Fort Bliss.”
Rosales placed fourth on the team with a time of 1 hour, 10 minutes, 12 seconds, just short of her goal of 68 minutes. Far from being disappointed, “it serves as a motivation to continue to train hard so I can do better next year,” said Rosales.
“I run year-round,” said Shank. “Prior to the tryouts in May, I focused solely on the ten-mile distance, running for four to six weeks prior to the event. … Due to an upcoming deployment, I was unable to train as consistently as I would normally … but overall, I did okay.”
“I had to juggle being in command, volunteer work that I am committed to and also the Ten-Miler team,” said Rosales. “I had a debilitating foot injury from a trail race earlier in the year that prevented me from being able to train until a month prior to the May tryouts.”
Shank and Rosales both said that if you enjoy running, you must try out for the Army Ten-Miler.
“It’s a great experience, competing with the Army’s best and with thousands of other runners,” said Shank.
“Running to represent Fort Bliss and being part of such an amazing team are opportunities that will leave an indelible mark in my Army career,” said Rosales. “I encourage anyone interested in participating to do so; it has been one of the best experiences in my Army career second only to having the privilege to command U.S. Soldiers.”
“This was a great year,” said Shank. “We sent three teams to compete and we brought back two trophies; 2nd overall for the Men’s Masters and third place for the Women’s Active Duty open category.”
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