Fort Bragg 10-Miler is back

11The Fort Bragg 10-Miler event is officially kicking off this week after several cancellations over the last two years due to the pandemic.

The run’s goal is to encourage a healthy lifestyle not just among soldiers, but with family and people outside of the military community as well.

Jennifer Fayson, the Fort Bragg special events coordinator, said that they are excited to hold the event, especially since this run was initially canceled earlier this year and the All-American Marathon was canceled.

“It's our first big event since 2019. You know, it's a fun event for the troops and for their family,” Fayson said. “They're able to go and participate in something fitness-wise and actually increase the morale of the base.”

One registrant who has already started training for the run is 2019’s 10-Miler winner, Capt. Daniel Schlich. As of last week, Schlich was running laps at the Hedrick Stadium on base.

“So starting about four or five months out, we run. I start out probably about 40 miles a week, get up to about 60 or 70 miles a week, running six days, seven days a week,” Schlich said.

Schlich says he is hoping to run the 10 miles within 52 minutes. In 2019, he ran the race at 52 minutes and 20 seconds. That means he averaged five minutes and 14 seconds for every mile.

Fayson however says this race is open to everybody, not just the people with speed and a great run history.

“We also have people with strollers out here, people that bring their kids out here. So it’s all ability levels,” Fayson said.

For those who are just starting, or may be interested in running the 10-miler for the first time, Schlich says that it’s all about your mindset.

“I would say pacing is probably the biggest thing because most people, if you haven't ran too much or you haven't been running recently, you got kind of a race mindset. Everyone starts out really fast and you just go way too fast and burn yourself out. So you really have to pace yourself,” Schlich said.

The race will kick off on Nov. 6 at 8 a.m. Registration for the race closes, Nov. 5, 7 p.m. and there will be no race-day registration.

So far, over 600 people have signed up for the race, but there is space for up to 1,500 people to register.

“I’m eager to get back out there, run a race with other people,” Schlich said. “Being able to have a crowd outside, you know, cheering you on to do your best.”

The race will start at Sports USA and runners will go down Long Street, go down Gruber Road, turn around and come back and finish. For those who just want to watch the event, there will be music and a ‘finish fest’ for those who finish the race. Fayson warns that roads will be closed for a majority of the day starting at 6 a.m., so people will be asked to park at the Womack Hospital parking lot and then walk over to the run site.

Registration will include an event t-shirt, a finisher coin and a tab for a free beer.

Veterans Day Parade returns downtown

10The annual Veterans Day Parade in downtown Fayetteville will kick off Heroes Homecoming week. Cumberland County Veterans Council created Heroes Homecoming in 2011 as a way of showing all veterans that the community remembers and appreciates their courage, sacrifice and everything they did to defend our freedom.

The parade was canceled in 2020 and all events were limited to being virtual. This year, everything is back and in-person.

The overall theme this year will be honoring the Armed Forces medical personnel and first responders who served on the front lines over the past 18 months during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Grilley Mitchell, president, Cumberland County Veterans Council, said that the council decided to honor the medical forces earlier this year.

“They were the ones who were on the front lines treating people and the COVID situation. Not just nationwide but worldwide,” Mitchell said. “They are the heroes of today because they were there on the frontlines doing what was required of them to take care of the sick.”

The parade will feature several high school marching bands, a number of JROTC groups, military equipment, various organizations, color guards, churches and groups such as the Shriners. They will also feature members of the Fort Bragg community, including the 18th Airborne Corps and the U. S. Special Operations Command.According to the Cumberland County Veterans Council, there are about 52,000 veterans that live in Cumberland County.

That doesn’t include the Fort Bragg population of 545,926 soldiers and their 70,000 family members.

The two honorees this year are Sgt. Maj. Jacob "Jake" Roth and 1st Sgt. Lawrence "Bud" Wilson. Both Roth and Wilson are Korean War Prisoners of War.

“They are my heroes. Those two guys are living heroes,” Mitchell said. “They are living legends that you get to actually thank them in person for their sacrifice. I work with both of them, every time I'm with those guys, it's an honor and pleasure to be with them.”

The parade will kick off Nov. 6 at 10 a.m. and will take place on Hay Street by the Airborne and Special Operations Museum and end at Cool Spring and Person Streets, behind the courthouse.

Following the parade will be the City of Fayetteville’s Veterans Day Ceremony at the North Carolina Veterans Park.

Spectators are recommended to arrive early in order to find parking. Mitchell asks that people come out, have a good time and show appreciation to the military and the city’s veterans.

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