Sheppard represents AETC at marathon

SHEPPARD AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- Representing your base and commander are an honor, but four Team Sheppard members have been selected to represent not only Sheppard, but the Air Education and Training Command at the 10th annual Air Force Marathon at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. 

Dave Max, Derek Rowe, Randy Lund and Mark Roberts were chosen to attend based on their times in May's Half-Marathon Qualifier. The four of them will be participating as a team in the 26.2 mile relay event. 

The relay team was selected to represent AETC after Robert Aceves, a fitness specialist at the Levitow Fitness Center, submitted the team's times and running experiences on an Air Force form 303 to AETC. 

"They're the cream of the crop," said Aceves. 

Rowe said that to be chosen to represent AETC said good things about them. 

"Our applications were more competitive overall to be chosen by AETC," Rowe said. 

The marathon is held annually sometime near the Air Force's birthday, in honor of that event. This year it will be held on Sept. 16. 

The event has grown over the past ten years and this year includes marathon, half marathon, team relay (which is what the Team Sheppard members are participating in), wheelchair marathon and 5k race events. The marathon course is U.S. Track and Field Association certified, and times may be used to qualify for the Boston Marathon. 

Each of the runners wanted to do the marathon for their own different reasons. Some of them stated doing it for health reasons and others did it for the challenge. 

"I love running," said Lund. "They (running and competing) fall hand-in-hand, why not compete." 

"I'm competitive," said Rowe. "I wanted to see if I was fast enough to make the team." 

Rowe and Lund are both veterans of the marathon, having competed last year, and know what to expect on race day. 

"Relay is a little bit different than (solo) running," Rowe said. "It's a team thing." 

Lund said that the entire experience is very exciting, due not only to the competition, but the team spirit. 

"It's an adrenaline rush," Lund said. "When you hear your team's number, you know it's your turn to do what you came there to do. It's pretty cool."