1st ACCS members push minds, bodies to the limit during road race

OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb. -- Twenty members of the 1st Airborne Command and Control Squadron awoke from their beds early May 4 while it was still dark and cold. Like ancient warriors of a time long ago they went through a pre-combat ritual as they prepared to push their minds and bodies to the limit. In this case, the field of battle was the 31st Annual Lincoln National Guard Marathon and Half-Marathon.

Several months ago some members of the 1st ACCS decided to set the bar high. Not only would they get in top shape and max the Air Force physical training test, but they would run 13.1 miles in the process. The idea spread like wildfire and before long more than a dozen squadron members had paid the registration fee and started training for the big event. Some family members got involved and also signed up.

Signing up for the race was easy, training for and completing the race would be the hard part. During the months prior to the race, a few individuals were overcome by injuries, but most continued on and all the hard work paid off.

On May 4, led by their squadron commander, Lt. Col. Russell Mammoser, individuals from the 1st ACCS came together as a team and completed the Lincoln National Guard Half-Marathon. Squadron member Lt. Col. James Staver decided the half marathon wasn't enough of a challenge. He completed the entire marathon. After 26 miles Colonel Staver had completed his race in a time of 3:17, qualifying him for the Boston Marathon. This accomplishment is one most runners strive for, but few ever achieve.

What's next for the athletes of the 1st ACCS? Only time will tell. As Colonel Staver said, "the road goes on forever, but the party never ends."