Peterson, Simpson Make Their Debut at Army Ten-Miler

By George Banker

WASHINGTON, DC—The 38th Army Ten-Miler returned on Sunday, October 9, 2022 after a two-year hiatus. The cancellation of the in-person races was because of health concerns for the safety of the runners, staff, and the community. There were virtual runs offered during the period.

Each year, the top runners go after the event records. Alene Reta of Ethiopia set the male record in 2009 (56:59) and the female record was set by Specialist Elvin Kibet of San Antonio, TX in 2019 (54:05). The oldest record is the male master set in 2000 by Sergeant Sammy Ngatia (48:50 the 19th fastest winning time) the overall winner. Ngatia is the only Master to run under 49 minutes. Perry Shoemaker of Vienna, VA set the master record in 2015 (57:31). Shoemaker holds the top four fastest master times.

The Women

The field for the 38th running had three-time Olympian Jenny Simpson of Boulder, CO, (2008, 2012, and 2016 bronze medalist) and three-time World Championship medalist (gold in 2011, silver in 2013 and 2017). The Army Ten-Miler, as with most events, promises to deliver the best conditions relative to the course, organization, and support. The support was from The Old Guard (TOG) and the civilian volunteers.

Simpson lined up surrounded by some of the best military female and male runners from around the world. There were no cameras, and it was a day for the athletes to run their best for themselves and their troops. There was no prize money, and all the teams had their eyes on the Commander’s Cup for the top female and male military teams.

This year, returning to the competition was uncertain, but the spirits were high. Simpson came for the opportunity to run without the added distraction, which comes with other high-profile athletes. The attitude from the front to the back was the determination to put forth the best effort possible.

Simpson could not judge her competition, as none were on the racing circuit. The field did not include runners from the Army’s World-Class Athletes Program (WCAP).

As the runners set out, Simpson made her way toward the front and dominated the women’s field. Simpson had runners trailing, waiting to seize any opportunity which presented itself. Going through five miles Simpson led with 26:53 followed by Sophia King of Chesterfield, VA, and Samantha Nadel of Arlington, Va., with a time of 28:23.

The course was clear for Simpson to dominate, as she passed the 10K mark in 33:28. King had closed in slightly at 34:37 and was trailed by Nadel at 35:24.

The last mile and a half of the course was flat, and Simpson took advantage to remain the control and claim the win with a time of 54:16. Simpson ran the second-fastest time in the race’s history.

King held in for a second with a time of 56:09 followed by Nadel with a time of 56:50. Alyssa Hall of Minneapolis was fourth with a time of 57:18 and rounding the top five was Colett Rampf of Colorado Springs with a time of 57:24.

“Going into the race, I had a very general plan, but nothing extremely specific as I had never run a 10-miler before. At a base level, I knew I was going to give the race my all and perform to the best of my ability on that day. I wasn’t exactly sure about the pace, but I had a general idea of running a sub-six pace. I wanted to be able to lock into a pace that I could sustain for the majority of the 10 miles, and then run a little faster the last mile or so. I had run an 8K a couple of weeks prior to the Army Ten-Miler where I ran about 5:40 pace, and I did think that if I could run that pace for 10 miles, I’d be happy with the effort. I ended up doing exactly that!” stated Nadel.

Samantha Nadel joined the Buff & Blue (George Washington University Assistant Coach) in August 2021 after spending two years as an assistant distance coach at North Carolina. With the Tar Heels, Nadel coached a pair of All-Americans in Paige Hofstad (cross-country) and Thomas Ratcliffe (outdoor 5000m) and helped guide the women’s cross-country program to a 14th place finish at the national meet last March.

Nadel commented about selecting the Army Ten-Miler, “I graduated from graduate school about four years ago, and that was really the last time I was consistently competing. After a four-year hiatus, I realized that I missed the competition and made it a goal this year to get back into it, starting with some road races in the fall. I knew the Army Ten-Miler was a huge race in DC and thought it would be a great opportunity to get back into some higher-level competition without big expectations, as I have never run a 10-miler before. I also live in the area, so trying to coordinate travel within my daily busy schedule would be a non-issue.”

It takes concentration to be successful Nadel explains, “It really comes down to a positive mindset and talking myself through the hard moments. In a race like the Army Ten-Miler, I tried to focus on one mile at a time, increasing my effort each mile, and telling myself that I could keep going regardless of how hard it might feel at that moment. I knew that if I was able to maintain that focus, I would be happy with my result.” 

The Men

One attraction of the Army Ten-Miler is the course, which goes through some of the scenic parts of Washington, DC. The opening, middle, and closing miles of the course are flat. The race is has no prize money and it attracts runners who love the sport. The race conditions were set with the cool morning temperature.

Historically, the race starts with a pack of runners until miles 6-7 when a runner breaks away. The unexpected took place within the first mile. George Washington University law student Luke Peterson broke free from the start line, going into the first mile (4:55) with a 50-yard lead over a pack of five. The stretch going north along Route 110 was flat and fast.

Peterson had a mission to stay close to a five-minute pace as he went through mile two with an elapsed time of 9:55. The third mile elapsed time was 14:55 and for mile four it was 19:49.

Going into the fifth mile, Peterson passed in 24:53. In close pursuit in 25:14 was Makoronondo Salukombo who has a half-marathon best of 1:04:25 and represented the Democratic Republic of Congo at the 2016 Rio Olympics Games in the marathon before joining the U.S. Army and getting U.S. citizenship. Trailing in 25:14 were Michael Biwott and Nickolas Schmidt.

Peterson crossed 10K in a time of 31:00. Salukombo and Biwott trailed with 31:20. Schmidt was staying in contact with 31:23.

Peterson stayed on point and went through mile eight at 39:55 with a 150-yard lead. The stage was set as Peterson was locked to take the win of the 38th Army Ten-Miler. The tape was broken with a 49:59 (27th fastest winning time).

Second place was captured by Salukombo in a time of 50:14. Biwott took third place with a time of 50:29. Schmidt captured fifth place with a time of 50:31.

“I signed up for the Army Ten-Miler race with my teammate, Peri Pavicic, and coach, Samantha Nadel, as a part of our fall racing circuit.  As a law student at George Washington, I was really interested in racing the premier road race in the DC area. This was my first 10-mile race, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. I really wanted to lock in around five-minute pace, hoping to break 50 minutes, and it worked out by the slimmest of margins! Ten miles is a long time to think, but I tried my best to enjoy running through the empty streets of DC and Arlington and feed off the spectators’ energy. I’ve always considered myself a miler, but recently I’ve shifted to longer races and have run PRs in the 5K and 8K over the last few months,” stated Peterson.

Peterson added, “My coaches at George Washington have been really understanding of my schedule and their flexibility is a large part of why I think I’ve found so much success recently. I first joined a track team when I was eight years old because I wanted to be the fastest miler in my elementary school class when we did the Presidential Fitness Test and my friend, KJ, who had just joined a track team, beat me the year prior.

“The Army Ten-Miler performance is the proudest moment of my racing career, and I have the flag/podium (we flew the American flag over the Pentagon) that I received for winning, proudly displayed in my living room!” stated Peterson.

There is a military connection within the family. “My grandfather was a Band Director in the Louisiana National Guard Band, and my dad, uncle, and cousin have also served in the National Guard Band.”

Peterson continued, “This race only furthered my belief that the mind can push the body to unbelievable feats. I would never have guessed that I could run (just faster than) 5:00 over 10 miles, but my belief in myself and my training carried me through to accomplish that goal.” 

The Masters

The leading Master was Michael Moore of Southern Pines, NC, with a time of 54:15 (27th fastest winning time). The runner-up was Philippe Rolly of McLean, VA with a time of 54:19. Rolly was a two-time master winner from 2012 (53:01) and 2014 (53:24). Joe Borg of Fort Stewart, GA was third with a time of 56:55.

“My strategy was to maintain a 5:30 minute pace per mile pace or better to get under 55 minutes. I run the Army Ten-Mile every year with an installation team, and I love how fast the race is and the ability to see friends from all over post-race at the Hooha Tents. I have run the Army Ten-Miler nine times. One of those years was a shadow run in Afghanistan,” stated Moore.

Moore added, “I have not noticed many changes in the Army Ten-Miler, and it is still such a fun race to run each and every year. The competition is some of the best I face, and it challenges me every year. I am an active duty Army Officer and I started running in college with the Chicago Marathon and have been hooked ever since. The bridge between miles seven and eight are a long stretch with no crowds so it is a mental challenge at that point, but you know you are towards the end of the race, so it is not too bad to push through it,” added Moore.

Adrienne Glasheen of Aldie, VA was the top female with a time of 1:01:47 (16th fastest winning time). The runner-up was Elena Markarevich of Gaithersburg, MD with a time of 1:06:51. Karen Gibble of Media, PA captured third place with a time of 1:07:41.

“I entered this race mainly with the goal of just experiencing the event that I had heard so many good things about. When, on race morning, my legs felt good and we had perfect running weather, I thought I had a chance at a PR. I set a 10-mile PR of 1:02:47 at the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler six months ago, but my recent training made me believe I could improve upon that. I didn’t put pressure on myself, and I was happy just to have this race experience. It was exciting to see my splits coming in at a pace faster than I could have imagined just a couple of months ago,” stated Glasheen.

Glasheen added, “My family and I moved to the area at the end of 2019, so I’m just getting the opportunity to try all the big (and small) local races. My neighbor does this race almost every year and talked about what a great event it is, so I was looking forward to the energy and excitement on race day. It was great to run in a mass start with such a big field. I liked having plenty of men and women to run alongside and keep me motivated and focused. When I finished, I was happy with my time but had no idea of how I finished in the field until about an hour later when I saw the printout posted at the awards ceremony.”

The gentle incline at mile nine hit me pretty hard, as I started to feel the fatigue in my legs. My splits had been consistent at about 6:05 pace (according to my Garmin), but I slowed about 15 seconds on mile nine and then recovered back to pace for the final mile,” Glasheen commented.

                                                Wheelchair

The record for the wheelchair athletes was set in 1994 by Ken Archer of Bowie, MD with a time of 40:04. Shannon Franks of College Parks, MD rolled to a win with a 56:23.

Chandra Gaeth of Ellicott City, MD set the female record in 2012 (56:59). Tiffany Rodriguez-Rexroad of Fort Huachuca, AZ defended her 2020 title (2:34:32) with a winning time of 2:15:30.

                                                Commander’s Cup

The Fort Carson men’s team took the title for their 11th time with a combined time of 3:22:38. In 2000 Fort Carson set the record with a time of 3:19:36. Fort Bragg Men took second with a time of 3:43:11. Third place went to the 75th Ranger Regiment with a time of 3:49:09.

The Fort Carson team members included Makoronondo Salukombo, Michael Biwott, Nickolas Schmidt, and Nick Kelley.

The Fort Carson women pulled an upset of the defending champions, Fort Bragg, with a time of 4:19:13. The second-place team was USAREU-AF/IMCOM-Europe with a time of 4:21:57. The Fort Bragg women placed third in 4:33:33.

The team members included Colett Rampf, Lara Powell, Susan Tanui, and Olivia Albright.

The women’s Commander’s Cup was started in 1997. The record was set in 2016 (4:13:49) by Fort Bragg.

Rampf commented about the team, “Throughout the past few months, the team has trained very hard. We pushed each other to get faster, which allowed the team to bond through challenging workouts. On race day, we came together, put everything we had on the line, and raced this race not only for ourselves but for the team. In the end, for the team to do well, we all knew that we had to push each other during the race, get out of our comfort zone, and finish strong.”

“Before getting stationed in Fort Carson, I heard several stories about how training at altitude can affect your running performance, but since I have never trained at altitude before, I did not know how my body would react to it. When I first got to Fort Carson, I could tell that running out there was a lot more difficult, and it took my body a while to adapt to the altitude. I still do not feel that I have fully adapted to the altitude. I can tell that over time, my body got used to running with less oxygen available. Before racing at the Army Ten-Miler, I asked several runners about their experience when they raced at sea level after being at altitude. The answers were very mixed. I had runners telling me it made an enormous difference, while others said that they did not feel any difference. As a result, I was not sure how my body would react going down to sea level and whether I could perform better. Looking back to the race, I could tell that my body has benefited from training at altitude, as I could run a faster pace for a longer duration without being too exhausted,” stated Rampf.


                                                Top U.S. Military

Colett Rampf of Colorado Springs was the leading military female winner (57:234 5th place). The second place was captured by Lindsay Gabow of San Antonio with a time of 59:05 (9th place). Dominique Chan of Austin captured third with a time of 1:01:08 (163rd place).

“I didn’t have a particular strategy for racing the Army Ten-Miler. My goal was to settle into the race as early as I could and find a group of runners that were running my goal race pace. Throughout the first three-quarters of the race, I wanted to stay relaxed, yet stay on pace without exerting too much energy. I knew that the last two and a half miles would be a bit more challenging and therefore, prepared myself for a mental challenge to my being fatigued and wanting to slow down. In the end, I wanted to ensure that I emptied my tank and finished the race as best as I could,” stated Rampf.

The military has influenced Rampf, “The military offers a variety of opportunities to not only test your mental, but also your physical abilities. When I joined the Army, I knew it would be a challenging, yet rewarding and life-changing experience. I had to learn different coping mechanisms to adapt faster to constant changes. The Army has taught me to appreciate the small things. Sometimes we take things, such as seeing our loved ones every single day, eating at a home-cooked meal, and being able to take a hot shower for granted.”

“I knew several members of the Fort Bragg Men’s team were also aiming to run under 60 minutes, so I intended to run with or near them. I ran the Army Ten-Miler in person in 2018 (1:01:24) and loved the rare opportunity for service members all around the globe to converge. I knew that as it did then, the 2022 race would see the reunion of old friends and the introduction of new ones. I did the virtual race in 2021 (1:00:21),” stated Gabow.

The competition was welcomed according to Gabow, “American women’s distance running has improved dramatically over the past few years alone. Accordingly, I anticipated this year’s field would be considerably faster than in 2018. Whereas only a small handful of runners ran under 60 minutes in 2018, the entire top 10 women this year ran well under an hour. I know the greater competition helped me achieve a personal record this year.”

The top male was Makoronondo Salukombo with a time of 50:14. Michael Biwott was second with a time of 50:09. Third place was captured by Nickolas Schmidt with a time of 50:31.

                                                First Responder

To honor the contributions and the memory of Lt. Reggie Taeil Kim (1976–2021) of the Pentagon Force Protection Agency (PFPA). The Army Ten-Miler changed the award team name from “First Responder” to read “Lt. Reggie T. Kim First Responder” Award.

Lt. Kim was an integral part of the security planning of the annual Army Ten-Miler. He understood the foundation of crowd management and its value for the Army Ten-Miler organization, balancing the interaction between the venue, event staff, and crowd risks.

Lt. Kim was quoted in The Shield, Summer 2014, “I’m a people person, and I enjoy hearing everyone’s opinion. This unit is all about the relationships you build and what you can accomplish together. I am here to make that difference.”

“I’m very dedicated to DoD. I live by the core values of honor, courage, and commitment in everything that I do.”—Reggie Kim

“Lieutenant Kim was a dedicated partner to the Military District of Washington Army Ten Miler team for over twelve consecutive years before his sudden death in December of 2021. He was admired and loved by all for his passion, humor, commitment, and selfless service. He was intellectual, instinctive, resolute, and most of all indomitable. Lieutenant Kim earned the respect and admiration of his leadership and peers; he exemplifies the true spirit of a devoted professional. He will forever be remembered as an outstanding Police Officer, Navy Veteran, Patriot, Friend, and Loving Husband. He was the longest-serving interagency partner and an esteemed ambassador to many of our Federal, State, and Local law enforcement partners and communities. It is our hope he will be honored each year when we recognize winners of the First Responder Award,” stated John Lease, Joint Task Force National Capital Region/Military District of Washington Army Ten Miler Law Enforcement Liaison and Coordinator.

The winning team was National Park Police with a time of 4:30:11 and the runner-up was Pentagon Police Team 1 with a time of 5:05:03.

Jenny Simpson wins at 2022 Army Ten Miler (Photo courtesy of MarathonPhoto)
Jenny Simpson on Army Ten Miler course on her way to winning the 2022 race. (Photo courtesy of MarathonPhoto)
Luke Peterson 1st 2022 Army Ten Miler (Photo courtesy of Steve Scheidt)
Reggie Kim (Courtesy of the Pentagon Police Department)
Pentagon Police Department Team (Courtesy of Renee Murphy)
1st Place First Responder, US Park Police and 2nd Pentagon Police Dept (Courtesy of Renee Murphy)
Gia Kim (Courtesy of Renee Murphy)
Men and Women’s Commanders Cup Fort Carson (Courtesy of Renee Murphy)


Categories: Race Coverage

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