June 14 marks the 235th birthday of the U.S. Army. Of course there will be cakes and ceremonies and other birthday type celebrations at U.S. Army posts worldwide. The Web site www.army.mil/birthday/235 is even offering folks a chance the submit Happy Birthday videos to the army online. Amidst all the celebrating, there will also be a chance to do a little PT (physical training) in the name of paying tribute to 235 years of all things Army.
If you are married to a hooah, friends with one (or more), related to one or just happen to know of one, and especially if you are one, then you know that PT is as much a part of being a soldier as breathing is a part of being alive.
On Friday, June 11, Fort Bragg MWR is hosting the Army Birthday 10-Miler. It is open to the public so anyone who is up for the challenge is welcome to participate. Preregistration is required and all packets have to be in by June 10 at 5 p.m. The entry fee is $15 if you register before 5 p.m. on June 3, and $20 for all entries received after that. Payment must be received with your entry form.
“This is an opportunity for us to honor soldiers, and honor the community as well,” said Steve Johnson, who has coordinated this event since its inception 14 years ago. “At the beginning, I think we wanted to establish a challenging event that the soldiers like — not only to help with building esprit de corps — but it also helps us to identify our top runners that we will send to the Army 10-miler in Washington, D.C., in October. We send a men’s team, a women’s team and a mixed team from Fort Bragg.”
Johnson mentioned that last year’s turn out was the biggest they’ve had to date, with about 2,000 runners competing. Of course, everyone is welcome to participate but Johnson notes that “they need to know that it is a challenging course. There are some rolling hills and it is not fl at by any means.”
“Due to the time of the year, the heat and humidity can be very challenging. Even though we start the race at 6:30 a.m., the climate conditions are a challenge,” he said.
While only a few of the runners will actually be sponsored by Fort Bragg in October, there are several categories for awards in this race.
The standard age brackets apply and there will also be prizes given for hand crank (all ages) and wheel chair (all ages). The men’s overall champion, women’s overall champion and the top three finishers in each classification will be recognized, too.
The Chrono Track Timing System will track each runner, using a timing tag attached to each runner’s shoes. High frequency technology captures the runner’s data through antennas embedded in the tag.
This event is designed for more than just the elite athletes among us though. There is also a fourmile walk. The 4th Annual Army Birthday 4-Mile Walk for Fun is a noncompetitive event that will run in conjunction with the 10-miler. Registration requirements are the same as the 10-miler.
On race day, athletes will rally at Sports USA/Hendrick Stadium at 6 a.m. Allow some extra time though, because there will be road closures because of the race route. At 6:20 a.m., pre-race instructions will be given. The race starts at 6:30 a.m. Please note that pets, bicycles, headphones and roller blades will not be permitted on the course. For more information call 396-1217 or 396-1218 or visit the Web site at www. fortbraggmwr.com/sportsrec/tenmiler.