Local runners shadow Army Ten-Miler race

Local runners shadow Army Ten-Miler race #307

BELTON — Ominous clouds hovering above the calm blue waters of Belton Lake did little to dampen the spirits of runners participating in the Army Shadow Ten-Miler.

Even when overcast skies began dumping rain on the Belton Lake Outdoor Recreation Area on Sunday, the runners didn’t shy away from the moisture — in fact, they welcomed it.

Lukesh crossed the finish line shortly after 9 a.m., making him the first of 192 runners to complete the 10-mile course.

“I always intend to place,” Lukesh said. “If I win, it’s a bonus.”

As the rains grew heavier, the runners persisted. The final stretch of the race presented the greatest challenge, participant Robert Brooks Jr., said.

“The last three miles were very, very slippery,” Brooks said. “I’m just out there to push myself.”

Although Brooks’ wife, Paula, did not run with him, she made the trip from their home in Kempner to watch her husband place second in his age bracket of men 50 and older.

Shawn Griffin, who crossed the finish line just behind Brooks, agreed the slippery trail made for a more difficult course.

“I got the wrong shoes,” said Griffin, who lives in Nolanville. “But it’s always a challenge, and it’s always a good thing when you finish a run with a smile on your face.”

The race, sponsored by Fort Hood’s Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation program, is a local alternative to the Army Ten-Miler, said recreation specialist Millie Land.

Runners must qualify for the Army Ten-Miler, also held Sunday in Washington, D.C.

Fort Hood’s “mirror reflection” race is free and open to the public, with no qualification necessary, Land said.

“It caters to all fitness types,” she said. “You don’t have to run it — you can walk, run, roll or stroll.”

Conta?ct Erinn Callahan at ecallahan@kdhnews.com or 254-501-7464.

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