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Minnesota National Guard
HSC 834th ASB Soldiers Participate In Twin Cities Marathon

STPAUL, Minn- Five Minnesota National Guard Soldiers assigned to the Headquarters Support Company 834th Aviation Support Battalion (HSC 834th ASB), participated in the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon and 10-mile event on Sunday in StPaul, Minn

According to Running Times Magazine, the marathon is considered one of the most beautiful and competitive marathons in the country Cpt Christopher Grupe, HSC 834th ASB Information Management Officer and Spc David Payne, member of the HSC 834th ASB, both ran the marathon

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Cpt Grupe, an experienced marathon runner appreciated the course scenery which included views of the Metrodome, several lakes, the Mississippi River and the State Capitol

"It's probably one of the best marathons you can run for course scenery and all the fall colors, I really enjoy going around the lakes and getting to the river, that's my favorite portion of the run," said Cpt Grupe

Cpt Grupe felt that his experience in the military helped him immensely during the marathon, "The military in general prepares you for uncertainty, training and mental toughness; when you're at mile 20 and you've got another 10 kilometers to run, you're already hurting physically and it's keeping it together mentally, the Guard has definitely helped there"

While running in the Twin Cities Marathon was on their own time, Cpt Grupe was asked by his command to wear his Army Physical Training Uniform (PT) while running in the event to represent the Minnesota Army national Guard

"I was really happy they asked me to wear my PT's out there and that's the first time I've ever done that in a marathon I was really amazed by all the support I got out there"¦I was really pleased with all of the support from the crowd by just wearing the uniform," said Cpt Grupe

The winner finished in two hours and 12 minutes while Cpt Grupe finished at a respectable three hours and 27 minutes, finishing 117th out of 737 in his division Cpt Grupe also completed a milestone of his own

"I'm not the fastest marathon runner, I get them done, this was my 30th marathon, that was one reason I wanted to run it, so I can actually say I've got 30 behind me," said Cpt Grupe

While Cpt Grupe and Spc Payne both finished the marathon, three other HSC 834th ASB Soldiers completed the 10-mile event Cpt Daniel Dobler, HSC 834th ASB Commander; Sgt Kim Doan, HSC 834th ASB Administrative Noncommissioned Officer; and 1st Lt Bryanna Thomes, Joint Force Headquarters Health Service Systems Administrative Officer, all ran the event together

"It was kind of cool, we had our team from the "˜Running with the Bulls' 10-mile event in Iraq, we wore our "˜Running with the Bulls' shirts and we all ran together," said Cpt Dobler

Their experience in the Minnesota Army National Guard helped them in their training and completing the race

"I have to stay in shape for the Guard, running a race like this just encourages me to stay fit," said Sgt Doan

Cpt Dobler felt his time in Iraq helped him in the event, "The deployment and the time we put in there for training gave me the knowledge on how to train for something of this distance as opposed to just walking off the street and doing it"

Even after the physical pounding their bodies took the Soldiers still came to drill afterward to perform their duties, a testament to the strength they've built in their Army training

Spc Miles Eakins
Minnesota National Guard Public Affairs

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