By Army Sgt. Sidnie L. Smith
Army Staff Sgt. Anthony P. Kozleuchar runs the Army Ten-Miler in Arlington, Va., Oct. 24,2010. Kozleuchar, now an instructor at the Defense Information School on Fort Meade, Md.,
finished the race in 1 hour, 7 minutes, 54 seconds. (Courtesy photo)
Dave Wiltshire, a faculty developer at the Defense Information School on Fort Meade, ran the Army Ten-Miler for the first time in 2015.
Wiltshire did not like how the start and finish lines were in different areas or how the transportation wasn’t on a better schedule, but he was blown away by the atmosphere, he said.
“I was inspired by everyone,” Wiltshire said. “The Army Ten-Miler encompasses more than just running. It’s an experience where you have people from all walks of life, every experience level, all out there with the objective of completing a 10-mile run. It’s chaotic, yet friendly and extremely positive.”
Wiltshire is among the members of the Fort Meade community who found inspiration in running the Army Ten-Miler, held Oct. 7 in Arlington, Virginia, and Washington, D.C.
Army Staff Sgt. Anthony P. Kozleuchar, an instructor at DINFOS, is another.
Just a month shy of his 42nd birthday, Kozleuchar made the decision to join the Army.
Nicknamed “The Old Man” at his basic training unit, Kozleuchar was running faster than people half his age. As the weeks of training progressed, the use of the nickname grew less and less frequent. Kozleuchar might have been older than the other recruits, but he could run.
“Running wasn’t new,” he said. “I was a sprinter in school.”
Wiltshire ran cross country in middle school then focused on competitive cycling. He began running again about four years ago with other members of the DINFOS running club for the social aspects.
“The cycling stuff, I just got bored with it,” he said. “This organization really fosters that team-building spirit.”
Wiltshire said he was impressed by how organized the club was.
The DINFOS running club would meet once a week to run together while each member was doing a different training plan. There was a tryout for the DINFOS Ten-Miler team. The club did several fundraisers to help cover the costs of uniforms for the race.
On the day of the Army Ten-Miler, Wiltshire had his critiques. But the teamwork, the training and the esprit de corps that that the running club fostered made the Army Ten-Miler enjoyable for him, he said.
While stationed at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, Kozleuchar was encouraged to run in a 9/11 memorial 5K race. He had never run in an organized race before so he decided to give it a try. Kozleuchar not only finished the 5K — he won it. Winning the race led him to run in others.
By 2010, Kozleuchar had qualified for the Fort Jackson Army Ten-Miler team. It was the first year that Kozleuchar ran the race.
On race day, the first people to start racing are the wounded warriors. Ten minutes later, the rest of the runners start.
Around Mile 3, Kozleuchar started catching up to the wounded warriors, he said. Not all them were in a group, but suddenly he could see the runners. It humbled him to be able to run with people who were injured, still running and continuing to reach for a goal.
“Really, after seeing guys in wheelchairs, guys with two prosthetics for legs, out there competing, just as tired as I am, just as focused as I am, I was just thinking, ‘Man, I’m so lucky,’” Kozleuchar said.
Other parts of the race were lighthearted, he said.
“There’s a tradition around Mile 9 where a guy hands out Dixie cups of beer to the runners,” Kozleuchar said. “That was fun.”
Sgt. 1st Class Winema Quidachay, a drill sergeant with the U.S. Army Signal School Detachment Student Company on Fort Meade, ran the Army Ten-Miler this year for the first time.
Quidachay began to run in 2015 after downloading a fitness app. As she learned how to run more efficiently, Quidachay was able to use the things she learned to teach her new soldiers in the detachment to run well.
While attending the Senior Leader Course in Fort Gordon, Georgia, Quidachay ran the Fort Gordon Army Ten-Miler on a whim. She then signed up for the Army Ten-Miler and the Marine Corps Marathon. The Marine Corps Marathon is scheduled for Oct. 28 in Washington, D.C.
“I’m running the Marine Corps marathon, and since it was in the same month, I figured I would be ready in time,” Quidachay said. “It’s not as stressful. … It’s kind of a cool way to see how an actual event that big (can) get me ready for the bigger one.”
At 5 a.m. on Saturday mornings, Quidachay offers 4-, 6- and 10-mile runs to the soldiers in her unit. Around 15 to 20 soldiers show up each week. She takes a group photo of the soldiers before she starts each run.
“They inspire me,” she said. “They keep me motivated and accountable. It keeps me running.”
Brown finished the 2018 Ten-Miler in 1 hour, 52 minutes, 54 seconds, and Quidachay finished in 1:48:53.
Fort Meade’s active-duty men’s team, which included Air Force Master Sgt. Greg Gustafson, an instructor at DINFOS, finished 12th. The post’s active-duty co-ed team, which included Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Steven Woolfolk and Marine Sgt. Jack Gnosca, also instructors at DINFOS, finished 37th.
Gustafson finished the race in 1:23:19. Woolfolk finished in 1:24:34, and Gnosca finished in 1:40:27.
Wiltshire and Kozleuchar did not run this year.