Runners hit the streets to prepare for Anaconda Ten-Miler

By Sgt. Ann Venturato
13th Corps Support Command Public Affairs Office

LOGISTICS SUPPORT AREA ANACONDA, Balad, Iraq — Thousands of runners will soon be lining up at the starting line for the second annual Anaconda Ten-Miler Oct. 24, but before runners reach the starting line, they have been pounding the pavement in preparation for the race.

"I try to put in about 10 to 15 miles a week," said Staff Sgt. Jessica Walker, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 372nd Engineer Group.

Walker said she normally runs every other day. She started training for the race in early August. Walker said she has been doing distance training so she will be able to complete the 10-mile course.

"The most I have done so far has been seven miles," Walker said, who has been getting acquainted with the course during her workouts. This will be the third race she has ever participated in and there is a set end to which all here effort is directed.

"My goal is just to be able to finish. To know that I can do it," Walker said "I had a goal, when I was 20, that I wanted to be in a triathlon before I was 30. I think this is the closest I will get."

Another runner, Sgt. Nathan Fritz, HHC, 372nd EN Group, said he runs every other day. Usually he tries to intermingle speed as well as distance in his workouts. He is trying to make his mark against the competition. He ran cross country in high school, but he hasn't run this distance before.

"I hear it is a big race. I'm hoping there is going to be a lot of people there. I am hoping to break the top 100," Fritz said, who finished in the top 20 in the 5K run for the Army's birthday run here on camp.

Those who have signed up seem to have a passion for running. 1st. Sgt. Scott Lubag, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 226th Medical Logistics Battalion, has been running about four to five times a week.

"Since we have been here I have upped my miles to eight miles a day," Lubag said, who was running an average of six miles a day before being deployed.

Lubag's goal is to just have a personal best for the race. The race is more for enjoyment and not to set any speed records.

"If I can have a time between maybe 70 to 75 minutes, I would be happy with that," Lubag said.

Lubag said he tries to participate in one or two races a year; he's done a few half marathons, a lot of 10K races and two marathons.

Like a tradition of other great competitions, a race wouldn't be a race without all the fan support along the route to cheer the runners on.

"It's nice to go out there whenever you do events like this. To go out and have everyone rooting for you and cheering for you," Lubag said. "It's always nice to hear."

Whether you are a spectator, race official or running in the race, there is some way you can participate.

If you are interested in running, registration is available until 6:30 a.m. on the day of the race. Service members can stop by Dining Facility 1 or Dining Facility 4 to register.

Staff Sgt. Johnnie Holmes, a registration committee coordinator for the race, said that more than 250 people have registered since Oct. 1.


news photo
(LOGISTICS SUPPORT AREA ANACONDA, Balad, Iraq) - 1st Sgt. Scott Lubag, 226th Medical Logistical Battalion, runs along the streets of Anaconda Oct. 11. Lubag is just one of the particapants preparing for the second annual Anacona Ten-miler.