Cindy Fernandez just turned 35, but she doesnt feel 35.
The Joint Base Lewis-McChord Army spouse celebrated her birthday by tackling her first 13.1-mile race at the sixth annual JBLM Half-Marathon on Lewis Main Saturday.
Fernandez has run three to four mile runs for as long as she can remember, and with her husband deployed, the name of a fallen Soldier written on her arm, and with her daughter on her mind, she ran the race charged with inspiration.
I thought Im almost 35 and I can do more, she said. My daughter is special needs and she has a ton of friends. I thought Ill run for them. I know if she could run she would do it.
The day after Fernandezs husband wished her good luck online, Fernandez crossed the finish line in 2 hours, 33 minutes and 25 seconds. Fernandez is a volunteer coach for the Child, Youth and School Services cross-country team and attends a JBLM spin class Mondays and Fridays. She saw the race calendar and noticed this years half-marathon fell on her birthday.
I did it in high school and I can do it now, she said.
The half-marathon attracted runners of all levels, including the bases most elite. Preston Myers, a Soldier with 2nd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, dominated the field when he crossed the finish line first in 1:13.33. Myers is a member of the JBLM Army Ten-Miler team and has been busy training with the team as its members prepare for the Oct. 20 race.
Its good to have a strong team to train with, Myers said. It really helps push me.
This year is Myers first Army Ten-Miler race, and he is sure to be a strong asset to the team. So far this year Myers has won the St. Paddys Day 5K, Salmon Run 5K, the half-marathon and a JBLM Ten-Miler timed trial.
Other members of the Ten-Miler team ran with Myers, including Jake England who finished second in 1:16.44, a personal record by one minute for the Soldier with 673rd Dental Company.
England competed in the Army Ten-Miler two years ago, but missed out last year because of training in San Antonio.
This is my comeback, England said.
The half-marathon was paired with the JBLM 5K Resiliency Run this year. The half-marathon course took runners through the military impact training areas.
There are two races left in this years race calendar. The next race is the Turkey Trot Nov. 16 followed by Santas Reindeer Dash Dec. 7. For more information or to register visit jblmmwr.com/races.