By Staff Sgt. Julius Delos Reyes
50th Space Wing Public Affairs
It was approximately 8:58 a.m. Friday at Schriever Air Force Base. With a 9 mph wind and 35-degree temperature, the season felt like winter. The cloudy weather’s ominous look did not help either.
A group of 28 individuals huddled together at an unpaved track. Some were completely covered from head to toe, while a majority only wore shorts, with nothing to protect their bare legs from the bristly Colorado winds.
Wearing a grey cap, a couple of layers of clothing and a black pair of shorts, Tyler Stiles, was in the majority. With his headphones on and playlist set, he looked at the field. He only had one goal.
“My goal was to have a strong run; run the second half of the race as fast as the first half,” said Stiles, 4th Space Operations Squadron.
And he did just that. With a composed and even pace, the first lieutenant completed the 13.1-mile course in 1 hour, 35 minutes, 9 seconds to finish on top of the 2014 Schriever half-marathon.
“I didn’t expect to finish first,” the first time Schriever half-marathon participant said. “It felt great though.”
Trailing Stiles was Jason Bradley, 3rd Space Operations Squadron, who was behind by more than two minutes as he finished in 1:37:43. Rounding up the top three was Scott Nicholson, 50th Space Communications Squadron, with a time of 1:38:26.
As for the females, Audrey Hall, 21st Medical Squadron, clocked in the fastest time at 1:51:26. Gail Smicklas, Air Force Space Command, trailed in with a time of 1:59:36. Snatching the third place was Jennifer Thibault, 50th Space Wing and the only Schriever female on the podium, with a time of 2:13:35.
“I was very happy to be the first female finisher,” said Hall. “I received a nice prize and a T-shirt. There were not that many females participating so that was in my favor.”
In preparing for the race, Hall ran regularly on Peterson Air Force Base or Colorado Springs. She participates in several running clubs in the community.
“It seems there are always fun runs, trail races or road races to participate in around the region,” said Hall. “I try to participate in an organized run or a race at least twice a month.”
Meanwhile, Stiles’ preparation includes running 4-6 miles, three to four times a week. Additionally, he prepared mentally by learning from his half-marathon experience in college.
“I was running way too fast then on the 10th mile, I crashed,” he said. “I used that experience to slow down and pace myself for the half marathon.”
Despite the cold weather, Stiles said the race was a nice experience.
“I thought it was great,” said Stiles. “I really enjoy participating in various Schriever races and competitions.”
“The race was well organized and the course was nicely laid out,” she said. “It was ideal for me because it was a trail run on a relatively flat course.”
The next Schriever running event is the Turkey Trot in conjunction with the Warfit Run 3 p.m. Nov. 12 at Schriever Fitness Center. The first 100 participants will receive a T-shirt. For more information, call the fitness center at 567-6628.