Soldiers compete in grueling race

by Spc. Glenn Anderson
221st Public Affairs Detachment

NÜRBURGRING, Germany — Two Army Reserve Soldiers from the 7th Civil Support Command, which is headquartered on Daenner Kaserne in Kaiserslautern, were among the 9,000 participants competing in the fifth annual Fisherman’s Friend Strongmanrun here April 17.

After the firing of the cannon commenced the start of the race,  Maj. Daniel J. Meyers, the civil military operations chief for Bravo Company, 457th Civil Affairs Battalion out of Bamberg, Germany, and Capt. Patrick Considine, the commander of Delta Company for the 457th CA Battalion, 361st Civil Affairs Brigade, 7th CSC, starting running, speeding across the starting line that took 20 minutes for all the runners in the race to cross.

 The 18 kilometer total course length equaled the size of 600 soccer fields and was littered with numerous obstacles with names like “Double Trouble,” “Alcatraz” and “Stairway to Heaven.” The course, combined with the obstacles, pushed even the fittest Soldiers to their physical limits.

“I know obstacles are what you see when you take your eyes off the goal, but those were some really tough obstacles,” Major Meyers said. “I just wanted to get over the next obstacle and head for the one after that.”

Major Meyers and Captain Considine ran alongside competitors from 41 different countries with everyone having the goal in mind of completing the Strongmanrun within the three hour and 30 minute time limit.

Capt. Bradley Stubblefield, the assistant plans officer for the 18th Engineer Brigade, 21st Theater Sustainment Command, came for the experience and the challenge. 

“I came here for the excitement and adventure. (The race) was very crowded and very challenging, but it was fun,” Captain Stubblefield said. “Pace yourself, it’s a long run.”

The 21st TSC Soldiers were not the only Americans who participated in the competition. There were 60 other competitors, including two at the age of 71 who listed their nationality as the United States of America on the roster.

According to a Strongmanrun sponsor, 10,940 competitors signed up to run, however, only 8,890 runners actually started the race. Only 8,547 runners actually finished the race and 7,316 runners finished in less than three hours and 30 minutes. 

Both 7th CSC Soldiers finished the race in less than three hours and 45 minutes and already have decided to return in 2012 to take on the next Strongmanrun.

“We trained for several months, but it looks like we could have trained a little more,” Captain Considine said. “I can’t wait until next year to try it again”