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Army 10-Miler tests speed, endurance

Team of six to represent division

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POSTED: August 23, 2013 11:31 a.m.
Photo by Samantha B. Koss/

Capt. Walter Biner of the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, is the first to cross the finish line at Saturday’s qualifying race at Fort Stewart’s Donovan’s Track. He finished in 1 hour and 1 minute, earning him the first-place slot on the team that will represent the installation in October’s Washington, D.C., race

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About 30 runners competed in a 10-mile race Saturday at Donovan’s Track to qualify for a position on the Fort Stewart team slated to represent the installation Oct. 20 at the 29th annual Army 10-miler race in Washington, D.C.
The event is expected to attract tens of thousands of competitors, said Fort Stewart Morale, Welfare and Recreation Intramural Sports Director Randy Walker. Race registration fees and sponsor contributions go to support MWR programs.
Fort Stewart will send one team of six runners — three males and three females. Most years, Walker said, they send four teams, but because of cutbacks, they will be able to send only one. These teams will compete for the Commander’s Cup, an award for the fastest U.S. military team. Civilians also will compete for their own team awards. International teams will compete in their own category as well, Walker said.
Fort Stewart’s first-place winner, Capt. Walter Biner of the 1st Brigade Combat Team, finished the qualifying race About 30 runners competed in a 10-mile race Saturday at Donovan’s Track to qualify for a position on the Fort Stewart team slated to represent the installation Oct. 20 at the 29th annual Army 10-miler race in Washington, D.C.
The event is expected to attract tens of thousands of competitors, said Fort Stewart Morale, Welfare and Recreation Intramural Sports Director Randy Walker. Race registration fees and sponsor contributions go to support MWR programs.
Fort Stewart will send one team of six runners — three males and three females. Most years, Walker said, they send four teams, but because of cutbacks, they will be able to send only one. These teams will compete for the Commander’s Cup, an award for the fastest U.S. military team. Civilians also will compete for their own team awards. International teams will compete in their own category as well, Walker said.
Fort Stewart’s first-place winner, Capt. Walter Biner of the 1st Brigade Combat Team, finished the qualifying race
Saturday in 1 hour and 1 minute. He sealed his spot on Fort Stewart’s team and will head to D.C. with five teammates to represent the 3rd Infantry Division and the installation.
“I am glad I can go back to my unit with this victory,” Biner said. “I have a lot of work ahead of me to prepare for D.C.”
He ran on his high school and college track and field and cross country teams and has competed in races ever since.
“I want to be the best I can possibly be,” he said. “Given my body frame, I am not going to be the strongest guy in my unit, but I can be the fastest.”
Biner begins training 12 weeks before any big race. He sets mileage goals with a long run being 20 percent of his weekly mileage.
“If I run 50 miles a week, the longest I will run at one time will be 10 miles,” he explained. “This is what I did to maintain my stamina up to this point and to qualify for D.C.”
Biner plans to step up his training routine for the race in D.C. He will run 70 to 80 miles a week to improve his endurance and be a strong competitor.
“Running involves dedication,” he said. “The dedication that I’ve used in running carries over to my military life.”
He believes that the hard work leads to success and the skills that keep him going during long runs help him better adapt to life challenges.
“I try to maximize my potential and be the best I can possibly be,” Biner said. “I carry that motto through everything I do, whether I am leading soldiers or running 10 miles.”
The soldier competed in the 2011 U.S. Army Europe 10-miler in Washington, D.C, and finished in the third percentile. His goal for October will be to do better than the last race.
“My speed isn’t an issue right now,” he said. “I need to work on my endurance.”
Biner’s biggest downfall in 2011, he said, was that he fell off his training about three weeks before the race. At about the seventh mile, he gets tired and starts to struggle. His training now involves running longer distances to improve for the October race.
“If I had someone to run with, I could push myself harder,” he said. “It helps motivate me.”
His wife usually rides her bike alongside him while he runs so he can keep his pace steady. Although the physical aspect of training is a challenge for Biner, the biggest difficulty is mentally preparing.
“The hardest part of running is taking the first steps outside the door,” he said. “You just have to maintain that motivation and get out there and do it.”

 

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