Fort Drum Army Ten Miler Qualifier.JPG

Soldiers from across the 10th Mountain Division (LI) gathered July 14 outside Magrath Sports Complex to compete for a spot on the Fort Drum Army Ten-Miler roster. This was the second six-mile qualifier run, organized by FMWR’s Sports / Fitness / Aquatics staff. The nine men and nine women with the fastest times were selected to represent Fort Drum and the 10th Mountain Division in October at the Army Ten-Miler in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Mike Strasser, Fort Drum Garrison Public Affairs)

Fort Drum FMWR hosts two qualifiers to select
runners for Army Ten-Miler in Washington, D.C.

Mike Strasser

Fort Drum Garrison Public Affairs

FORT DRUM, N.Y. (July 20, 2022) – Soldiers from across the 10th Mountain Division (LI) gathered July 14 outside Magrath Sports Complex to compete for a spot on the Fort Drum Army Ten-Miler roster.

This was the second six-mile qualifier run, organized by the Fort Drum Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation’s Sports / Fitness / Aquatics staff, to determine who will represent Fort Drum and the 10th Mountain Division at the annual Army Ten-Miler race in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 9.

Staff Sgt. Brendan McCauley, an Apache technical inspector with the 10th Combat Aviation Brigade’s 277th Aviation Support Battalion, finished first with a time of 36:38.

“It was a slower pace than I normally would run for this distance, but I’m not quite in race shape right now,” he said. “I was just hoping to make the team today and then use the next few months to prepare and do well.”

McCauley qualified to run in last year’s virtual race, but he chose to run his third Boston Marathon that weekend instead. In fact, this is the fifth time McCauley has made the cut, but circumstances kept preventing him from going to the D.C. race. In 2018, he was best man at his best friend’s wedding, the next year he deployed overseas, and then the race went virtual the following year due to COVID-19, as it did last year.

Now that it looks like the Army Ten-Miler will return to an in-person event, McCauley said he is excited for the opportunity to finally run it among thousands of service members, veterans, retirees and civilians.

“Hopefully, fifth time’s the charm,” he said. “I’ve been in the Army for a while now and running is my passion, and I’d love to combine the two. I’ve done big races before, and I think the big race atmosphere is great. I’ve heard great things about the Army Ten-Miler – the course is fast and you run by all D.C. monuments. It should be a great time.”

McCauley, a New Hampshire native, said that he became interested in running during his freshman year of high school.

“We have a 10-mile race in my hometown, which I’ve done every year since 2007,” he said. “That was how I got into running, and then I got into triathlons in college.”

McCauley’s time was the third fastest of the two qualifying runs. The two best times were recorded in May by Spc. Colwyn Driver, with 41st Brigade Engineer Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, and Maj. Aaron Anderson, with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Brigade Combat Team. The two runners clocked in at 35:54 and 35:57, respectively. Driver ran the virtual Army Ten-Miler last year on post, never having run a 10-mile race before, and he finished at 1:02:08.

First Lt. Olivia Arnold, with the 10th Mountain Division Sustainment Brigade’s Special Troops Battalion, is a returning Army Ten-Miler runner. She finished with the top time among women at 44:08.

“I was pretty happy with my time,” she said. “This is just a fun event, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to compete on a team.”

First Lt. Maria Weece signed up five minutes before the start, not quite sure if she was feeling her best, but still determined to secure a spot on the Fort Drum Army Ten-Miler team.

“I was planning to try out for the team, but because I’ve been sick, I kept wondering if I should run or not,” she said. “Not feeling super great right now, but I just wanted to run.”

She finished at a time of 47:26, which was the fourth-fastest time among women trying out for the team and enough to guarantee her entry into the Army Ten-Miler.

“I’m not happy with my time today, but I’m glad I ran it,” she said. “I ran last year, and I really liked it except we didn’t get to go to D.C. I’m hoping this year we will be able to.”

Weece is an experienced long-distance runner, and she competed on her high school and college teams.

“I really love running and I miss being on a team,” she said. “So this I am looking forward to training and competing for this race. It’s a lot of fun.”

Fort Drum Army Ten-Miler Team

Men’s Team: Colwyn Driver, Aaron Anderson, Brendan McCauley, Bentley Bonnell, Connell Rae and Leonardo Balcino da Silva.

Women’s Team: Olivia Arnold, Sarah Jeon, Allie Rios, Emily Clark, Maria Weece and Alyssa Kirk.

Mixed Team: Marco Asmal, Francisco Valiente, David Sanchez, Lynn Yingling, Brianna Seeberger and Lauren Takayesu.