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Soldiers keep good times in 10-miler

By Julie Fiedler | 1ST INF. DIV. POST | July 01, 2014

Shoelaces were tied; muscles were stretched and loosened as 141 Soldiers made last-minute preparations to run the Victory Week 10-Miler at the crack of dawn June 11 on Custer Hill.

As the starter sounded, Soldiers took off in a pack, which thinned out over the course of the 10-mile route.

One goal of the run was to increase esprit de corps, which seemed evident as the first two runners to cross the finish line did so together, arms in the air and drenched in sweat.

Spc. Samuel Kosgei, 1st Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division and Spc. Mathew Chesang, 1st Squadron, 6th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Combat Aviation Brigade, 1st Inf. Div. finished with a time of 53:36.

“I feel good about (my time),” Chesang said, adding it was an improvement over last year.

Chesang said he and Kosgei regularly train together and kept one another going during the run.

“It was good to cross the line together because we were helping each other,” he said, but added, “I’m glad it’s over.”

The pair hopes to represent Fort Riley in the Army 10-Miler in October.

For other runners such as Sgt. Patricia Ollis, 287th Military Police Company, 97th Military Police Battalion the run was less about run time and more about quality time.

Ollis started running about two years ago when she redeployed from Afghanistan.

“I like how free it is and how quiet. I can just think and I can be by myself,” she said.

She participated in the run last year for fun. This year the event took on special meaning as she ran in memory of her father-in-law.

“My father-in-law recently died from (Lou Gehrig’s disease) and I was doing it mostly for him,” Ollis said, adding his memory kept her motivated during the run. “I was thinking about my husband, thinking about (my father-in-law). It made me keep going. Last year I did stop a lot, but this year I was like, ‘I’ve got to keep going. I’ve got to finish this.’”

Having run the entire way, Ollis said she was relieved when she crossed the finish line and was pleased to see she had beat her time from last year.

Also participating in the run was 1st Inf. Div. Command Sgt. Maj. Michael Grinston.

“There are a lot of great things going on this week and we’ve got a good 10-mile run,” Grinston told Soldiers beforehand as he highlighted several Victory Week events like the CrossFit competition and Brett Eldredge concert. “I hope everybody’s getting a chance to get out and experience some of the events.”

Grinston also said Team Riley appreciates the efforts of the Soldiers.

“We appreciate what you do,” he said. “Best of luck to all of you.”

With those words and a few more last-minute stretches, Soldiers lined up and started the run as the pale light of dawn broke over Custer Hill.  

Tag 10-miler   Tag Victory Week

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