Add a “drop-in” visit from the US Army Golden Knights Parachute Team, A starting send-off by the Presidential Salute Battery from the US Army’s Old Guard combined with weather that was just perfect and one had a combination for a spectacular event -
Hosted by the US Army’s Military District of Washington, the 25th Anniversary running of the US Army Ten Miler was held this weekend with festivities beginning on Friday 02 OCT as the runners headed to the Washington DC Armory to get their credentials and spend some time perusing the array of vendors & exhibitors covering the floor of this DC Landmark.
Several of the runners had run in the first one over two decades ago were on hand to discuss “why they run…” It was quite special to encounter several people John Michael met over the years who were getting ready for the day on Sunday.
It was a cold crisp morning… a big full “Harvest” moon still in the sky when I made my way to the parking lot near the Pentagon. As the sun came up over the horizon, the level of activity and numbers of people grew - Row after row of white tents were filled with representatives from various units across the US Army and sponsors - “The Big Red One” – 1st Infantry Division, 2d Infantry Division – “Second to None”, “The Rock of the Marne” – 3d Infantry Division, Fort Hood’s 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Drum’s 10th Mountain Division and so many more.
As the Golden Knights’ airplane circled overhead, a single knight came out of the aircraft and began his descent to the target near the starting line for the race. His fellow knights followed him – the remaining forming a star pattern in the sky before “breaking away” to deploy their parachutes and gently head for the same target that the first Knight accurately hit - Each one in turn duplicating the successful jump.
Meanwhile the 30,000 runners filled Washington Boulevard awaiting the signal that started the race - the Presidential Salute Battery’s Guns fired. With a loud report that probably could be heard at the Capitol steps and a billow of smoke, the race began. As the thousands of people made their way past, it was a constant encouragement that came from people in the starter’s grandstand and all along the route. One woman had gotten up on top of the “Jersey Barrier” and seemed to want to dance the 10 miles in place giving those on the pavement below more encouraging.
As the throng of runners disappeared and the roadway emptied, the onlookers and “cheerleaders” moved to the finish. It was a short 47 minutes later, the first runner crossed the finish line and the stream of runners who followed all headed to a much needed “re-fueling” and rest among the “Hooah Area”
I’m truly looking forward to next year’s event — This was great!
Find the photos from the day posted in the GALLERY
Enjoy!GHTime Code(s): 9f3f2 efdcc 13a37 d151b
Tags: 10th Mountain Division, 1st Infantry Division, 3d Infantry Division, 3d Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division, Army Ten Miler, Guns Platoon, Military District of Washington, Presidential Salute Battery, The Old Guard, US Army, US ARMY GOLDEN KNIGHTS, US Army Parachute Team, Washington DC