U.S. Soldiers WIn International Cup in Army Ten-Miler
U.S. team wins third consecutive victory in international military division.
Army News Service
WASHINGTON -- Tesfaye Sendeku-Alemayehu successfully defended his men's title, Kerri Gallagher won the women's chase, and the U.S. Army Team won another International Cup in the 28th running of the Army Ten-Miler Oct. 21 at the Pentagon.
Sendeku-Alemayehu, a 28-year-old Ethiopian who lives in Ellicott City, Md., won the race with a time of 47 minutes, 48 seconds.
"You cannot see them running in other races like this," he said of being inspired by dozens of wounded warriors he passed along the course around Washington's most-famous monuments. "I run many races, but this is special for me."
Gallagher, 23, who works at the Pacers Running Store at Pentagon Row, was victorious in just her second attempt at 10 miles on the roads.
"It's really amazing that the wounded warriors are out there running," said Gallagher, who noted that she felt privileged to run alongside soldiers in wheelchairs and on prosthetics while leading all women with a time of 56:09.
Spc. Augustus Maiyo, a runner in the U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program, or WCAP, who is stationed at Fort Carson, Colo., finished second in 47:54. Frank Caldeira of the Brazilian Army was third in 48:11, followed by WCAP runners Spc. Kyle Heath (48:44) and Spc. Robert Cheseret (49:07).
Chris Kwiatkowski (49:09) of Chevy Chase, Md., former WCAP Spc. Kenneth Foster (49:11) of Fort Carson, Colo., Brazilian Army's duo of Clodoaldo Silva (49:20) and Jormem Nascimento (49:31), and WCAP Spc. Joseph Chirlee (49:35) completed the top 10.
The WCAP quartet led the U.S. Army team to its third consecutive Army Ten-Miler victory in the international military division over the Brazilian Army, which previously held a two-year stranglehold on the trophy.
Sendeku-Alemayehu and Maiyo took a five-second lead on the field with a first mile of 4:35 and opened a 100-meter lead by the three-mile marker. From six miles on, it was a two-man race for first place and a battle of American and Brazilian Soldiers for the International Cup. Maiyo set the pace through seven miles in 33:30 but could not match Sendeku-Alemayehu's surge in the final mile.
"I tried to stay with him, but he was too strong," Maiyo said.
Meantime, the next pack of about six runners was battling for the team title.
"We were hanging in there up until mile eight, then we started counting the Brazilians," said Maiyo, 32, who won the Montreal Marathon three weeks ago in 2:18:43 and was lacking some of his customary leg speed on Sunday. "We were working as a team just to take care of the Brazilians. One of them took off, and Robert chased him down. After mile six, our concern was to maintain the 10-miler championship for the U.S."
Cheseret also was focused on winning the team title.
"At six miles, there was only one Brazilian ahead of us, and we had our four ahead of the second Brazilian," said Cheseret, 29, younger brother of U.S. distance-running star Bernard Lagat. "At that point, we knew if we finished in that order, we were winning for sure. This gives us three in a row."
Their sights now are set on winning the 2012 Armed Forces Marathon Championship next Sunday at the Marine Corps Marathon on many of the same roads as the Army Ten-Miler.
"The most important thing today was to win the international team race and to just relax as much as possible because we are coming back next weekend to run 26 miles," Cheseret said.
For Heath, the added mileage is a change of pace.
"I'm more of a mile or 5K (kilometer) guy," said Heath, who has been running 18 miles on Sundays to prep for these two longer races. "Basically, we've just been upping the mileage. It's kind of a new thing for me."
Heath finished sixth in the Denver Rock & Roll Half-Marathon earlier this month with a time of 1:09:03 but he's already looking forward to getting back on the indoor track to compete at shorter distances. He joined WCAP little more than a year ago and gave the program rave reviews.
"You get so much support, guidance, and help with everything," he said. "They want to see everybody succeed. I'm looking forward to running some world championship races and hopefully making the Olympic team. That's what it's all about. There's nothing better than running for the Army. It's awesome."
In the women's division, Ethiopians Aziza Aliya-Abate (56:10) and Tezta Dengersa (56:26) finished second and third, followed by former WCAP runner Capt. Kelly Calway (56:39) of Fort Carson and Erin Koch (57:12) of Chevy Chase, Md.
"I ran a 50-second [personal record] and was happy with that," said Calway, 28, the 2008 Army Female Athlete of the Year. "I was fighting to try and get third. I wasn't that far back, but I gave it everything I had so I'm really happy with the way it went today."
Since taking command of an Army company three weeks ago, Calway has been balancing her time between work, training and taking care of Hazel, her 5-year-old daughter who already has competed in a 5K and the 800 meters.
"It's just a lot to juggle," Calway said. "It's a balance between sleep and running and food. You can't stress the small stuff."
Calway also is happy to educate soldiers about the U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program.
"I'm going to continue to train while in command and re-apply to the program," she said. "I want to come back for the next quad because 2016 is still on my radar. I'm still getting faster, so I'm not ready to hang up the spikes. I've still got a lot more in me. Right now, it's awesome to be a company commander and be out there with my soldiers.
"It's really neat because I get to spread the word of WCAP. I get to spread the word and tell them that we have Olympians representing you guys, so you should be cheering them on. It's really neat to bring that aspect to the regular Army."
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