Monday, October 8, 2007

Army 10-Miler - The biggest 10 Mile Race in the World

Heat, not runners, rule day at Army race

By Lisa Burgess, Stars and Stripes
European edition, Monday, October 8, 2007

ARLINGTON, Va. — Every Army Ten-Miler is unique for some reason, whether it’s an amazing time or a particularly memorable runner.

For Sunday’s 23rd Army Ten-Miler, what likely will stand out in many minds is the heat.

While there are more than 150,000 U.S. servicemembers dealing with temperatures in Iraq that are still topping 100 degrees every day, it’s a little hard to complain about conditions in Washington, D.C.

Still, for the 26,000 runners who participated in Sunday’s race, the mini heatwave, with temperatures into the upper 80s (10 degrees above normal for early October), was an unpleasant factor.

Wherever they were training, many runners, — including Lt. Col. Marty Muchow, 42, an Army officer who won the men’s master’s division in 2006 — were watching the weather, and making plans for how to cope.

Muchow, who commands an explosives ordnance detection battalion at Fort Drum, N.Y., that is preparing to deploy to Iraq, told Stripes Friday that he “personally likes the weather to be as miserable as possible, because I think I’m tougher than other runners.”

On Sunday, the race field of half-civilian, half-military runners woke to a morning that felt more like July than October.

“I knew as soon as I got up this morning that the humidity was going to be a big, big problem,” said Alisa Harvey, four-time women’s winner of the Army 10-Miler and the owner of the No. 1 bib after she finished fifth.

By the time the traditional cannons boomed to signal the race’s 8 a.m. start, the sun was fully up, and the thermometer and humidity with it.

With humidity that high, “the sweat can’t evaporate. It just has nowhere to go,” Harvey said.

Runners crossing the finish line looked like they had taken showers.

Harvey said she had to do something she normally never does during a race: actually stop running completely, not once, but twice, so she could “pour a cup of water over my head.”

It didn’t help. By mile six, Harvey said, “I looked and I couldn't see anyone in front of me” because her female competition was so far head of her.

“That’s when I knew I’d lost” the race, she said.

Harvey finished with a time of 1:00:34, averaging 6:04 per mile.

One group of runners that was actually pleased to see the Sunday heat was the Brazilian Army team, which was making its first appearance at the race.

Among the top-ten male runners, Brazilians took first, second, third, fourth, and sixth places.

Runner dies at Army 10-Miler near Pentagon

ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) — A runner from Fairfax County died Sunday during the Army 10-Miler race near the finish line at the Pentagon.

The runner collapsed about 10:40 a.m. about 200 yards from the finish line, said Col. Jim Yonts. Arlington County medics responded immediately and took the runner to George Washington University Hospital.

The cause of death was not known. Yonts said he did not know the runner's age. The runner was a civilian, not a member of the military, he said.

"It's a tragedy nonetheless," Yonts said.

The race started in 70-degree heat and high humidity. Race officials said there was plenty of water and first aid stations along the course.

More than 25,000 people registered for the race — the largest 10-mile race in the United States. The 23rd annual race takes runners from the Pentagon, across the Potomac River through the streets of Washington, past the Capitol building and back to the Pentagon in Arlington.

The runners included amputees who were injured in the Iraq war and a group of 36 women from Georgia whose husbands are deployed in the war zone.

One other race death occurred in 1990, Yonts said.

Also on Sunday, a Michigan man died while running the Chicago Marathon as stifling heat and smothering humidity forced organizers to shut down the course midway through the race.

Chad Schieber, 35, collapsed while running on the South Side and was pronounced dead shortly before 1 p.m. at a Veteran's Affairs hospital, according to the Cook County medical examiner's office. Another 250 people were taken to area hospitals because of heat-related ailments.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Anonymous said...

The "runner" was a 24 year old, 2005 RPI graduate. He was an athlete and a good friend to many.

He will be sorely missed by all of his friends, though his smile will live in their memories.

Our heartfelt condolences to all his family.

jypsy said...

Thank you for your comment.

24 is so very young, only a few years older than Alex and younger than most of his fellow runners here.

Our condolences to you, his friends and his family.