June 14, 2007

Virginia team runs to the finish at 2007 National Guard Marathon

From staff sources

The Virginia Guard Marathon Team recently competed in the 2007 National Guard Marathon in Lincoln, Neb. Members of the team include- Top row: (left-right) Maj. Ed Sabo, Chief Warrant Officer 4 Art Dechent, Maj. Terry Thiem, Chief Warrant Officer 2 Gregg Whisler. Bottom row: Lt. Col. Colleen Chipper, Capt. John Zimmerman (Courtesy photo)

FORT PICKETT, Va. – Six Soldiers and Airmen from the Virginia National Guard Marathon Team were among the 5,200 competitors who braved both rain and wind to compete in the 2007 National Guard Marathon May 6 in Lincoln, Neb.

Every year the National Guard in each state and territory is eligible to send runners to compete against other Guardsmen for the 55 positions on the National Guard Marathon Team, which competes in several national running events during the year.

This year 40 men and 15 women made the All-Guard Team.

Capt. John Zimmerman, a recent transfer from Vermont who has made the All-Guard team in the past, was the first Virginia runner to cross the finish line. His time of 3:14:12 placed him 45th among all National Guard competitors, just missing the cutoff time for the All-Guard Team.

Lt. Col. Colleen Chipper, who has competed on the All-Guard team three times, placed 16th among the female Guard competitors with a time of 3:55:53. She will be able to compete with this year’s All-Guard team because one of the top 15 women will be retiring this summer.

Maj. Terry Thiem and Maj. Ed Sabo were within minutes of their finishing times, with Thiem crossing the line in 3:20:40, followed by Sabo with an excellent time of 3:22:38. 

Chief Warrant Officer 2 Gregg Whisler, who has competed in several marathons, finished in a time of 3:43:52, and Chief Warrant Officer 4 Art Dechent met his goal of finishing the marathon with no injuries. 

Chipper, Dechent and Whisler have competed in several Lincoln Marathons while Thiem and Sabo both ran the Lincoln Marathon last year.

The mission of the National Guard Recruiting and Retention Marathon Program is to utilize members of the All-Guard Marathon Team to promote the National Guard, and to enhance and increase its strength.

The Marathon Program works with the National Guard Recruiting and Retention Force at both local and national levels to promote the Army and Air National Guard, and the Military Competitions Programs. The Marathon Program encourages and enhances the National Guard Retention Program by instilling physical fitness, self-discipline, and esprit de corps among National Guard members from all 50 states and U.S. Territories.

The All-Guard athlete’s elite talent level serves as a platform to promote the National Guard in a positive and professional manner, and to enhance both Recruiting and Retention for the National Guard.

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