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Minnesota National Guard
Minnesota National Guard Soldiers selected to marathon team

Two Minnesota Army National Guard Soldiers have been selected for the National Guard All-Guard Marathon Team after competition at the 34th Annual Lincoln Marathon in Lincoln, Neb May 1

Sgt Amanda Panek, Camp Ripley's Training Support Unit and Sgt. 1st Class Chad Gohman, 1st Combined Arms Battalion, 194th Armor qualified for this elite team, which competes across the United States, said Sgt. 1st Class Micheal Hagen, marathon coordinator, National Guard Bureau

About 200 Soldiers and Airmen from across the United States participated in the Lincoln Marathon in hopes of making it to Nationals

"The Lincoln marathon is the time trials to get on the National team," said Panek "Females have to complete the marathon in less than four hours to make it to Nationals and there are only 40 slots for males and 15 slots for females"

This was her first marathon since 2007, when she ran Grandma's Marathon in Duluth, Minn Panek ran this marathon in three hours and 50 minutes

"I hit the half split at one hour and 46 minutes," said Panek "I was feeling pretty good that day and running eight minute miles"

According to the team's tentative list, their next marathon is scheduled for Missoula, Mont July 8 to 11, 2011 After which, they will travel to San Francisco, July 29th and then Bismarck, ND

Gohman said, this was his very first time competing in a marathon and it was his first time completing a total of 262 miles Gohman finished the Lincoln marathon with a time of three hours, one minute

"I really wasn't sure what to expect," said Gohman "I wasn't sure what to pace, how my body would react or how I would feel�  The most I have ever run is 18 miles�  I felt good until the 20th mile and then my energy level went down"

Gohman went on to explain, much of the run toward the end of the race is a mental game, rather than a physical one� 

"It was a neat experience representing Minnesota," said Gohman "You could hear the crowd cheering; go Minnesota, go Minnesota�  When you are in the military, you do more than just put your uniform on and show up for drill, it's important to be physically fit�  By running this marathon; I set the example for my Soldiers"

Hagen says 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 will work 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 will encourage and enhance the National Guard Retention Program by instilling physical fitness, self-discipline among National Guard members from all 50 States and US Territories," said Hagen�  "The Marathon Program will provide for quality of life and better well being for Soldiers and Airmen of the both the Army and Air National Guard"

By Officer Candidate Trista LaFontaine
Camp Ripley Public Affairs Specialist
1 May, 2011

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