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Joint Base Lewis-McChord is ready to make a statement at this years annual Army Ten-Miler race Sunday.
All three teams have a great chance to go to Washington, D.C. and make history, and win all three titles and come home fully satisfied, JBLM team captain Dallas Henry said.
JBLM sent 17 athletes (six active duty men, six active duty women and five active duty masters men) to the East Coast today for the elite race. They will run the scenic course through Washington D.C. among 30,000 other runners competing for the Commanders Cup.
Last year, JBLM teams of women and masters men finished second, while the (non-masters) men placed third. Fort Bragg, N.C., won the mens and womens Commanders Cup titles. JBLM coaches said the teams have trained hard to compete at their best this weekend.
Everyone has really bought into the program so much more than I thought they would, Henry said. The excitement couldnt be higher.
Team rosters were finalized after their final timed trial Oct. 4. The teams ran a 12K course on Lewis North. Returning Ten-Miler veterans join first-year talent on the JBLM teams. Corey Sigmund will run in his first Ten-Miler race, but he is no stranger to the sport. He grew up competing in cross-country and at JBLM he won the finale of the installations cross-country series championship this year. Henry told Sigmund about the Ten-Miler team.
I didnt know about the team until the cross-country race, Sigmund said. The atmosphere is supposed to be completely different. Were training between just us so we dont have real competition.
Last years overall male winner crossed the finish line in 47 minutes, 51 seconds. The JBLM active duty mens team has been running under 60 minutes and Sigmund is on pace to break 57 minutes.
The team battled through injuries leading up to race weekend. Still recovering from shoulder surgery, master runner Douglas Brown ran the final timed trial with his arm in a sling. That kind of dedication is part of why Henry is especially excited about this years squad.
This might be the best team you run on, Henry said to the runners before their final timed trial.
The JBLM team arrives to D.C. tonight and will pick up race bibs tomorrow. The team will have a traditional team dinner Saturday evening and will return to JBLM Monday, the day after the race.
The first Army Ten-Miler was in 1985 with 1,379 finishers. The race starts and ends at the Pentagon parking lot.