July 14, 2008

Two Virginians make All-Guard Marathon Team

Courtesy of the Virginia National Guard Marathon Team

The Virginia National Guard Marathon Team. Back Row: (l-r) Chief Warrant Officer 2 Gregg Whisler, Chief Warrant Officer 4 Art Dechent, Chief Warrant Officer 4 Thomas French, Pfc. William Domedion. Front Row: (l-r) Chief Warrant Officer 3 Todd Tassell, Lt. Col. Colleen Chipper, Capt. John Zimmerman

FORT PICKETT, Va. — The seven-person Virginia National Guard Marathon Team competed in the Lincoln/National Guard Marathon May 4 in Lincoln, Neb.

Every year, the Army and Air National Guard in each state and territory sends runners to compete against other Guardsmen for 55 positions on the National Guard Marathon Team. That team competes in several national running events during the year. This year 40 men and 15 women made the All Guard Team.

Capt. John Zimmerman of the Virginia Guard, who has competed in this race several times as a team member of other states, was seconds off his personal record with a time of 2:59:36. He was the 19th National Guard finisher and earned a spot on the Elite All-Guard Team male open category.

Lt. Col. Colleen Chipper, the team captain, placed 14th among the women competitors and qualified as a member of the All-Guard Team for the fifth time. She has completed 10 Lincoln/National Guard marathons, and received a third place trophy this year in her age category, with a finishing time of 3:55.

Pfc. William Domedion, the youngest team member, had a time of 3:20, and won a second place trophy in his age category.

Chief Warrant Officer 2 Gregg Whisler, a team veteran, did very well. He finished with a time of 3:36, despite a sore hamstring muscle that he pulled during the Charlottesville Marathon two weeks earlier.

Chief Warrant Officer 4 Thomas French and Chief Warrant Officer 3 Todd Tassell both enjoyed the experience of the National Guard Marathon, where they met several hundred National Guard runners from all over the country. They both finished the marathon with respectable times under four hours and acquired no injuries along the way.

Chief Warrant Officer 4 Art Dechent finished his sixth Lincoln Marathon with a big smile on his face!

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